Monday, October 14, 2013

District court denies motion to strike negligence claim involving compressor station noise

On September 24, 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted in part and denied in part a compressor station operator’s motion to strike/dismiss a personal injury complaint by a neighboring plaintiff. Koziel v. Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P., 2013 WL 5352258 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 24, 2013).  Plaintiff resides in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 670 feet from the compressor station used in the natural gas industry. On December 31, 2010, the plaintiff was working in his metal garage when a high pitched noise emanated from the compressor station for nearly fifteen minutes. During that time, the plaintiff called the both the station and 911. The sound was amplified by the plaintiff’s garage. The plaintiff alleges he suffered hearing loss and sleeping disorders as a result. The operator moved to strike the plaintiff’s negligence and strict liability claims. The court granted the motion to strike the strict liability claim because the plaintiff conceded to it. The court, however, denied the defendant’s motion to strike the plaintiff’s negligence claim because the plaintiff’s allegations related solely to the period of action/inaction by the operator while the noise occurred, rather than any post-incident actions or inactions.

Written by: Garrett Lent, Research Assistant
Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
October 2013

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