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7 Aug 2018

Blake Nicholson, Star Tribune (USA)

USA: Energy Transfer Partners adds more defendants to its lawsuit against NGOs over campaign opposing Dakota Access pipeline

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"Dakota Access developer amends $1B racketeering lawsuit", 6 Aug 2018

The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline...amended a $1 billion racketeering lawsuit it filed last August against three environmental entities after a federal judge criticized the original filing as vague and threatened to throw it out of court...U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson said Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners hadn't proven its case against the Earth First environmental movement, though he said it could sue individual members if it had enough evidence...ETP...added five individual defendants: a man allegedly affiliated with Greenpeace, two Iowa women who have publicly claimed to have vandalized the pipeline, and two people associated with the Red Warrior Camp, a protest group alleged to have advocated aggressive tactics such as arson.  The company also amended its accusations, limiting defamation and business interference claims to Greenpeace and adding a criminal trespass count against all defendants...Wilson had ordered ETP to show why Earth First shouldn't be tossed. Company attorneys...argued that ETP...should be given permission to add the...Earth First Journal to the lawsuit.  Wilson...ruled that naming the Journal as a defendant "would be futile and possibly frivolous."  He also denied ETP the opportunity to gather more evidence to prove its case...Wilson said he would allow ETP to add to the lawsuit "any person or entity" directly responsible for such acts, though he added that any additions must be supported by evidence...

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