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Pine River Dairy Farmers Win Appeal Against Crow Wing Power Company

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A dairy farm in Pine River will be able to reopen after a court ruled in its favor Tuesday.

A Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a Cass County ruling declaring that Crow Wing Power & Light Company acted in negligence for years, causing Randy and Peggy Norman to lose their dairy farm.

From 1983 to 2012 the Normans operated a farm in Pine River. Crow Wing Cooperative Power and Light provided electricity to their farm.

Beginning in 1994, the Normans began noticing significant decrease in milk production, significant weight loss and other health issues with their herd.

As the Normans were unsure of the issue, they were unable to treat the cows. In 2012 they liquidated the farm due to decrease in production.

It was found at a later date that in 1991 and 2001 stray voltage was detected on the farm.

In 2014, the Normans sued the electrical company for negligence and nuisance.

On Oct. 24, 2014 the court found Crow Wing Power & Light guilty and awarded the Normans $4,861,478 in economic damages and $1.5 million in nuisance damages. A judge also ordered them to construct a new electrical service to the farm. Crow Wing Power appealed.

On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals announced they are affirming the decision by Cass County to award the Normans the damages.

Crow Wing Power still has to pay out $9 million in damages. The new electrical service was completed last summer.

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