Landowners’ lawsuit over Dakota Access goes to appeals court

By Blake Nicholson

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota landowners who unsuccessfully sued the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over land easements are trying to revive their lawsuit.

The 21 landowners sued in 2017. They say a company formed by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and a hired land acquisition consultant used deception to acquire unfair private land easements. They sought more than $4 million in damages.

A federal judge a year ago ruled they didn’t prove their case, in part because the fraud-based claims required a higher standard of proof.

Their attorneys will argue before an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Thursday that not all of their claims were based on alleged fraud.

The defense will argue the judge properly dismissed the case in its entirety.

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