Bridge company loses court appeal in Michigan to stop Gordie Howe crossing

A legal attempt by owners of the Ambassador bridge to stop the Gordie Howe International Bridge project has failed in the Michigan Court of Appeals which ruled the company’s court claim to stop was not launched quickly enough.

An attempt by owners of the Ambassador bridge to stop the Gordie Howe International Bridge project has failed in the Michigan Court of Appeals which ruled the company’s claim was not launched quickly enough.

A three-judge panel in the Michigan Court of Appeals said the Detroit International Bridge company failed to file a claim to stop expropriation —called condemnation in Michigan — within one year after the governments of Canada and Michigan signed the crossing agreement for the Howe project in 2012.

The bridge company, owned by the family of Matty Moroun, did not appeal to the court to stop expropriation of 20 properties the company owns in the Howe bridge footprint in southwest Detroit until Dec. 29, 2016 –well after the deadline, said the six-page ruling.

“Plaintiffs argue that their claims did not accrue in June 2012 because they lacked standing until (the Michigan Department of Transportation) began condemnation proceedings. We disagree,” said the ruling by the panel of judges Douglas Shapiro, Michael Kelly and Colleen O’Brien in Lansing, Mich.

The panel in its ruling concluded: “At the time the crossing agreement was signed, there was an ‘actual controversy and plaintiffs could have pled and proved facts that demonstrated an ‘adverse interest necessitating the sharpening of the issues raised.’”

The bridge owners’ only recourse to appeal the court’s decision is to apply to the Michigan Supreme Court to hear the case.

The claim is just one of several attempts by the Moroun family to stop the Howe project.

Also pending is a decision by the Wayne County Circuit Court where the Morouns have also applied to stop the expropriation process of its 20 properties by the state’s transportation department for land it needs for the Howe project.

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