NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — The push to temporarily shut down a cryptocurrency facility in North Tonawanda stalled in Niagara County Supreme Court Wednesday after two of the plaintiffs said Judge Frank A. Sedita III ruled that two legal technicalities would prevent it from going forward.
"We had requested an injunction to halt the operations at 'Digihost' until the company and the city were able to complete all the things they should have done from the beginning," said Deborah Gondek.
Gondek and Darlene Bolsover filed their lawsuit against North Tonawanda and the cryptocurrency company 'Digihost' back in November 2021. After several scheduling delays, however, their long-awaited day in court did not go as planned.
"The disappointment came from the fact the judge wouldn't even listen to the merits of our case," Bolsover said.
That's because as Bolsover and Gondek put it there was "a difference of opinion" regarding the filing deadline for their case, which they were unaware of prior to the hearing. Judge Sedita's "opinion" prevailed.
The lawsuit over the past two weeks had gained more support after an annoying whine started emanating from the plant on Erie Avenue, disrupting neighbors who took their complaints to the city. North Tonawanda Mayor Austin Tylec told 2 On Your Side Friday that the noise was the result of new testing.
"I guess the way to think about it is like a jet engine running while you're sitting in the plane while you're sitting on the tarmac," said Shane Keyes who lives across the road from the facility.
The noise issue was not a part of the lawsuit filed back in November because the plant was not operational, but Bolsover and Gondek said the judge did bring it up during Wednesday's court hearing.
"He did look at the attorneys for 'Digihost' and Fortistar and let them know that they needed to resolve this noise issue and to resolve it quickly," Gondek said.
As for what is next for the lawsuit, Gondek and Bolsover said they will now weigh whether to appeal the ruling or file a tort case to try and get some relief for some of the impacted neighbors. They have 30 days to take such action.
"We've got to talk to a big group of residents to share this information with and get their input on how they want to proceed so we will have a more definitive answer to that in the days ahead," Gondek said.
Bolsover added, "Because with us we're actually going to ask the residents what they want."