A federal appeals court Thursday affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of Morton County landowners alleging they signed easement contracts along the Dakota Access Pipeline route based on "various misrepresentations."

The plaintiffs alleged other landowners received more money for easements allowing pipeline construction on their land despite being told they received the best price for anyone in Morton County.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found that the plaintiffs' complaint lacked specifics about the allegations. The lawsuit against Dakota Access and its contracting affiliate company Contract Land Staff originated in January 2017 and was dismissed by a U.S. district judge more than a year ago.

The oil pipeline runs from western North Dakota to Illinois and was the subject of massive protests over its crossing near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It began service in mid-2017.

An attorney for the landowners did not return a message by 5 p.m. Thursday.

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