Jury ups the award for pipeline damages

A district court jury in central Iowa has given a victory to a landowner who contended oil pipeline builder Dakota Access didn’t pay her enough for her farmland.

The Boone County jury recently ruled in favor of Judith Lamb and awarded her $250,000, farm more than the $90,100 a county compensation board gave her when the pipeline was constructed on her land. Lamb owns 150 acres near Ames and argued the original compensation was lacking.

After a six-day trial, the jury agreed. The pipeline was completed in June 2017 after the Iowa Utilities Board granted Dakota Access the power of eminent domain in 2016.

But Lamb and her husband Richard aren’t finished because they have another trial in August involving another 147 acres they own.

A lawsuit filed by nine landowners challenging the constitutionality of forced taking of their land is pending before the Iowa Supreme Court. Several other landowners have lawsuits pending over soil compaction, tile damage and crop loss.

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