Residents sue Govt, over jet noise

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by ccheese, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    This from the Norfolk, Va. "Virginian Pilot"

    VIRGINIA BEACH

    More than three months after a multimillion-dollar settlement was reached with several thousand Virginia Beach and Chesapeake property owners over Navy jet noise, the “sound of freedom” is once again being challenged in federal courts.

    Lawyers representing another wave of plaintiffs filed a class-action claim on Wednesday that could potentially represent thousands of property owners around Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach and Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake. Damages estimated in the claim are for $500 million.

    The lawsuit was one of two complaints filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington on behalf of plaintiffs who claim that loud F/A-18 Navy Hornets have lowered the value of their homes and negatively affected their everyday lives. The lawsuits state that the jets encroached on their properties.

    Five property owners are listed as representatives for the class-action case. They are Virginia Beach property owners Thomas and Evalyn Askins; J. Brian and Patricia Donnelly; and Paul and Constance Weisberg. The Chesapeake homeowners are James Jr. and Rose Ann Bergey and Morris and Nancy Deal.

    None of the homeowners could be reached Wednesday evening for comment.
    A second complaint, representing owners of 1,375 properties, also was filed in the same court. Damages for the second suit are estimated at $50 million. It was filed as a “safety” suit in case a judge denies the residents’ request to certify the class-action lawsuit, said Maryland lawyer Martin Wolf, a member of a team of attorneys representing plaintiffs. If it is certified, plaintiffs in the second suit would join the class-action complaint, he said.

    The additional lawsuit also ensures that at least some property owners are able to pursue a claim before the statute of limitations expires, Wolf said.

    Federal law requires that property owners who want to sue the United States in overflight takings’ lawsuits bring their claims within six years of first suffering harm.

    Jim Brantley, a spokesman for Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, said Wednesday that Navy officials had not received any information on the lawsuits and could not comment on the cases.

    A Justice Department spokesman said federal officials also had not seen the lawsuits and could not comment.

    Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys said the latest lawsuits speak to the continuing interference of Navy jet noise on homeowners’ lives.

    “I think there are clearly people who are having their lives disrupted by loud jet noise, whether in their sleep or trying to carry on conversations inside their homes,” said the Virginia Beach plaintiffs’ attorney, Jack Ferrebee . “That’s their primary motivation for signing up.”

    The class-action suit is similar to one filed in April 2001 in which nine property owners in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake alleged that the arrival of the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornets by July 1999 subjected their homes to substantially louder noise, devaluing their property.

    Virginia Beach property tax assessment records show that homes around Oceana have continued to increase in value, but plaintiffs assert that their properties would be valued even more without the jet noise.

    Furthermore, plaintiffs said the relocation of the Hornets was the federal government’s taking of their property without just compensation, a violation of the Fifth Amendment.

    The latest lawsuits were filed under the same belief, said Ferrebee, who compared the government’s action to building a highway through a person’s property.

    “If the government burdens an individual, all citizens have to share in that burden,” he said. “It’s not as if these folks are acting in a radical way. They are acting in a way that the Constitution contemplated.”

    A judge eventually denied a request to certify the 2001 class-action complaint, forcing more than 2,000 property owners involved in the case to file their own individual lawsuits. In May, the Justice Department and the Navy reached a $34.4 million settlement with those plaintiffs.


    Here we go again........

    Charles
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    If you buy property near an airport...... expect the noise.

    The feds should throw the hammer down on these clowns and sue them for stupidity!
     
  3. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Agreed. And if that airport is a military aerodrome - expect lots of jet noise. They seem to indicate that before the Hornets came there was no issue. Wonder if there were suits filed before then.

    I guess these people think that they should be consulted prior to the DoD shifting assets within the US.

    The gov't needs to put an end to this crap.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Here is my advise to them:

    MOVE!!!
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I was in Virginia Beach in late 1951 (early '52) when Oceana was a NAAS.
    Yea... An Auxilliary Air Station. These clowns that are sueing have only
    been around Oceana ten - fifteen years. If you don't wanna hear jet
    noise, don't buy a house near a Naval Air Station ! It's as simple as
    that...... But.... the bleeding heart judges will pay off.

    Tic's me off...... I live about six miles from Oceana, and it doesn't bother
    me. Oh sure, once in awhile it gets kinda loud, but I know the why's.

    What they need is more bread with their whine !!

    Charles
     
  6. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    But you're violating their civil rights!

    They claim that the NAS has caused a relative decrease in their property value since the overall values have continued to increase. The presence of military installations in several areas has a tremendous positive impact to many communities - and is the driving economic force in the area. I don't know the specifics near Oceana, but I hope the Navy and the US Gov't fight this one.
     
  7. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    The BIG problem is the City Council (of Va. Beach) is in the pockets of
    the developers. Every time some farmer sells his land to a developer they
    want it re-zoned to commercial/residential from farming. The council
    ignores what the Navy tells them and re-zones the property. Then they
    approve the builders request for 1,100 houses on fifty acres of property.

    They do not consider the impact on traffic, schools, the VOLUNTEER
    fire department, the VOLUNTEER rescue squad, or care about what the
    Navy says. It's money in the pocket, so it's gotta be a good thing.

    I know the Navy will fight this suit, but I doub't it will do any good.
    Like last time, they settled out of court.

    Charles
     
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