French Resistance: Couple Collect €100,000 In Damages For Wind Turbine Noise Nuisance

The grinding, thumping cacophony generated by giant industrial wind turbines delivers wholly unnecessary misery worldwide. Sleep deprivation is first among the list of adverse health effects caused by these things and the pulsing low-frequency noise they generate.

The wind industry has fought tooth and nail to avoid the consequences of the harm it dishes out, mostly with impunity.

However, increasingly its victims are fighting back and winning.

One French couple, driven mad and eventually driven out of their home by wind turbine noise have had just such a victory.

French couple win legal fight
The Guardian
Kim Willsher
8 November 2021

A French court has recognised “wind turbine syndrome” after a couple established that their health was damaged by noise from a nearby wind farm.

In what is believed to be the first judgment of its kind in France, Belgians Christel and Luc Fockaert were awarded more than €100,000 in compensation by the judge in Toulouse.

The couple experienced a range of health problems including headaches, insomnia, heart irregularities, depression, dizziness, tinnitus and nausea for more than two years, insisting these were caused by six wind turbines set up 700 metres from their home at Fontrieu in the Tarn, southern France.

The turbines had been installed in 2008. However, it was reported that the couple’s health problems started five years later, after woodland between their property and the nearest turbine was cut down.

They singled out the noise, which they said was “comparable to a washing machine continually turning”, as particularly detrimental to their health. “We didn’t understand straight away, but little by little we realised the problem came from the turbines,” Christel Fockaert said.

The couple moved away from the area in 2015 and said their health problems disappeared shortly afterwards.

The Fockaerts’ case was initially dismissed in January last year but they appealed, saying the judge had ignored the experts’ reports they had commissioned and instead had gone to see for themselves but had spent only an hour at the site of the complaint.

The energy companies Sasu, Margnes Energie and Sasu Singladou Energie, which run the wind factory, were ordered to pay €110,000 in compensation to the couple.

Alice Terrasse, the couple’s lawyer, told French television: “It’s an unusual case and as far as I know there has been no precedent.” She added that the judgment should serve as a warning to those companies setting up windfarms to reflect carefully on their impact on the local population.

Emmanuel Forichon, of the environmental collective Toutes Nos Énergies – Occitanie Environnement (All our Energy – Occitanie Environment) said the ruling was “important and brave”.

“We already consider environmental issues and biodiversity, and occasionally the impact on landscapes, but not enough the issues of human health. This could create a jurisprudence and, above all, make the regulations evolve,” he said.
The Guardian

6 thoughts on “French Resistance: Couple Collect €100,000 In Damages For Wind Turbine Noise Nuisance

  1. ‘ …saying the judge had ignored the experts’ reports they had commissioned and instead had gone to see for themselves but had spent only an hour at the site of the complaint.’
    Oh how often those with the power to legally assess the adverse effects of these things have ignored true expert reports and advice.
    If only they could be brought to justice for their lack of consideration of all FACTORS, not just the ‘FACTS’ as portrayed by the companies and their cronies including sometimes their own visits to sites, which are never long enough to gain an understanding of what it’s like to live with these things.
    Far too often justice has not been achieved for those suffering the hardships in health and wellbeing from these dangerous and environmentally damaging monstrosities.
    As a result the legal system appears to be uneven/wonky and without balance when assessing reported adverse effects.
    Is it the legal system, or is it that the financial power of the companies gains an upper hand just because they say – without proof – these things are safe!
    Is there actually a balance in the justice system?
    Or have the scales been weighted against those reporting adverse effects and the truth about actual damage being wrought on the environment by these unwanted, unacceptable and harmful monster machines?
    Has Justice been highjacked by those with ulterior motives and the money and influence to distort the truth to suit their desires!

  2. It’s not as if wind turbines actually reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since this is the objective, they are not fit for purpose. Where, precisely, is the best location for a machine failing to address the problem it was built for?

  3. Congratulations for the couple’s win. It can be added to President Macron’s decision to build more nuclear plants.

    Although mandated by the AU Energy Regulator last year, the most recent electricity cost reduction is being touted as due to the low cost input of RE.
    Being dubious that ALL subsidies and costs, including governments and departments involvement in supporting RE, is included; ministers & commissioners & the rest, how can it be believed when even peripheral projects costs aren’t included in ‘smoothing the way of a project’?

    The Big Lie, attributed to Adolf Hitler is that, “If a lie is big enough and repeated often enough, it will be believed”.

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