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Olin v. Dakota Access

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20126
Nos. 1:17-cv-007, (D.N.D. , 10/10/2017) (Hovland, J.)

A district court held that a group of North Dakota property owners could not sue contractors hired to negotiate easements for the Dakota Access pipeline for misrepresentation and fraud. The contractors were hired to obtain easements from property owners to secure a path for the Dakota Access pipeline. Plaintiffs contended the contractors told them that if they did not sign their neighbors would lose their signing bonus and their land would be condemned through eminent domain giving them "basically nothing," that these misrepresentations coerced them into signing the easement agreements, and that the tactics were false, misleading, deceptive, and unfair. The contractors contended that the claims were barred by the integration clause in the easement agreements. The court agreed with the contractors, holding there was no misrepresentation as the language used was predictive and unlike misrepresentation of the past and present, predictions are not actionable. Further, the integration clauses contained in the easement agreements render any reliance on prior promises unreasonable. The case was dismissed.