Drone Lawsuit Heats Up in Washington State

A legal battle in Washington State may define the state’s future approach to aerial rights and drone law.

Fort Discovery Inc., developer of a civilian gun range/military and law enforcement training facility in Port Townsend, Wash., has filed multiple lawsuits against Tarboo Ridge Coalition, a group opposing the construction.

According to the Peninsula Daily News, Fort Discovery attorney Greg Overstreet told the Jefferson County Commission that TRC members were violating the company’s aerial rights by flying drones over the proposed construction site.

Coalition president Peter Newland told commissioners that “a drone flying at 350 feet had captured photos of D’Amico’s property at Tarboo Lake.”

Newland claims drone photos showed construction at the site despite an apparent moratorium pending complaints filed with local and state agencies.

“Fort Discovery committed no such violations,” alleges the company’s lawsuit, adding that they must now “spend time and money to rebut TRC’s false claims – claims that flow directly from TRC’s admitted unauthorized drone flights over Fort Discovery’s property.”

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