In his letter to the editor, Mr. Westermier of Arcadia, Oregon, presents the notion that DCP Midstream is so large that no one can challenge the authority and power of the “Goliath” company. To the contrary, people do have the right to challenge the value offered if they have a valid claim. Courts are receptive and juries are fair when compensation is underestimated by utilities. Competent counsel are available in almost every State.
If there is a problem with the validity of the compensation claim, counsel will disappear in a flash.
Regarding “Pipeline project is headed to court” (News, May 26): The reason DCP Midstream can boast resorting to few eminent domain lawsuits isn't because of its generous settlements. It's a result of the immediate threat of its authority to take land by court order. Most property owners are law-abiding citizens and the thought of being sued is frightening. It seems to imply that one has done something wrong. Many landowners realize the expense of defending themselves against this Goliath company. It will require time away from jobs and routine tasks. Another factor is finding counsel with the appropriate field of expertise.
DCP Midstream is well aware of the landowners' helplessness and uses it to the company's financial advantage. My neighbors in the path of the pipeline and I are victims of this abusive behavior. My only direct contact with DCP Midstream is an absurdly meager compensation offer along with a threat of condemnation.
Harold Westermier, Arcadia