Posted by: Patricia Salkin | May 6, 2017

OK Supreme Court Holds Cell Tower was not an Actionable Nuisance

In 2009, BoDe Tower began to securing authorization from state and federal officials for the construction of a telecommunications tower on the tract in an effort to fill a gap in cellular coverage. Plaintiffs Ken Laubenstein and Billie Wallace filed a lawsuit against the defendants asserting a nuisance claim.  Plaintiffs’ cause of action was based on the placement of a cellular telephone tower adjacent to their respective properties. The lower court entered a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and directed BoDe Tower, LLC to disassemble the cellular tower. The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed the judgment.

In its analysis, the court noted that nuisance claims founded solely on aesthetic harm are not actionable. Here, Laubenstein’s entire case was premised on the cellular tower being visually unpleasant. Moreover, the plaintiffs in this case did not face physical injury to their property, nor did the offensive activity render their homes uninhabitable. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Civil Appeals was vacated, and the trial court’s judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs was reversed.

Laubenstein v Bode Tower, 392 P. 3d 706 (OK 3/30/2017)

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