Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC v. KiserAnnotate this Case
In this case requiring a determination of Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC's scope of authority under an easement it acquired to create Lake Norman, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing an order of the superior court, holding that the easement's plain language was clear and unambiguous and that Duke's actions were encompassed with the easement's broad grant of authority.
In 1961, Duke purchased the easement at issue, which covered a tract of what is now known as Lake Norman. In 2017, after the lake level receded, Duke filed suit against Defendants alleging trespass and wrongful interference with the easement by building a retaining wall and backfilling the lakebed area subject to Duke's easement. The trial court ordered Defendants to remove the retaining wall and clear the backfilled area from the lakebed and then granted summary judgment for Duke on its remaining trespass claim. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Duke acted within its broad authority under the easement and that the trial court did not err.