BISMARCK, N. D. – The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline on Monday amended $1 billion extortion lawsuit, filed last August against the three environmental entities after a federal judge of the criticism of the original submission as vague and threatened to throw it out of court.
The final blow for the lawsuit came Friday in U. S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson said the Texas-based Energy Transfer ners had not proved that the case against the Earth First environmental movement, although he said it could sue individual members if it had enough evidence.
ETP on Monday added five individual defendants: a man who allegedly are affiliated with Greenpeace, the two Iowa women who have publicly claimed to have destroyed in the pipeline, and two people with the Red Warrior Camp, a protest group alleged to have advocated aggressive tactics, such as arson.
The company also amended its allegations, the limit of defamation and business interference claims Greenpeace and the add of a criminal violation count against all defendants.
“We are convinced that this move to even more false claims in an already broad and unfounded case will be the last nail in the coffin of a sham legal tactic,” said Greenpeace attorney Deepa Padmanabha.
ETP, in the first instance called up, Greenpeace, BankTrack and on the Earth, containing the “rogue eco-terrorist groups” worked to undermine the $3.8 billion pipeline that is now moving oil from North Dakota, in the state of Illinois. The groups said the lawsuit was an attack on free speech, and the Earth also it is an unstructured social movement, similar to Black Lives Matter and can not be called.
Wilson on 24 July dismissed BankTrack lack of evidence, a day after he had ordered ETP to show why the Earth should not be thrown. Company lawyers countered that the Earth First must be held responsible for the “eco-terrorism” and argued that the etps at the very least should be given permission to add the Florida-based on the Earth Journal to the lawsuit.
The company had previously tried to serve the lawsuit on the Magazine, but the publication effectively argued he was not the same as the movement.
Wilson on Friday ruled that the naming of the Magazine as a defendant “would be meaningless, and possibly frivolous.” He also denied ETP the opportunity to collect more evidence in this case.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the Magazine, issued a statement praising Wilson’s statement. Journal Editor Grayson Flory said ETP “tries to distract us from their further destruction of communities and the environment through the forging of a rich story.”
The company claims the groups disseminated false and misleading information about the pipeline, interfered with the construction and the business activities of the company, facilitates terrorism, incited violence and targeted the financial institutions that supported the project and the violation of extortion laws.
Wilson said that he would allow the ETP to add to the lawsuit, “any person or entity that is directly responsible for these acts, but he added that any additions must be supported by evidence.
“It is clear … that the plaintiffs did not, at the time of submission of the application, evidence and support for the specific allegations against (on the Earth),” Wilson wrote.
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