USD 4.2 Million Hydraulic Fracturing Verdict Likely To Spark More Suits
A recent jury verdict and USD 4.2 million award in favor of two Pennsylvania families who alleged hydraulic fracturing operations contaminated their well water is likely to trigger the filing of more suits, sources tell Bloomberg.
A jury on 10 March found Cabot Oil & Gas acted negligently in drilling hydraulic fracturing wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania, which created a private nuisance and significantly harmed the plaintiffs in their use and enjoyment of the property. A number of other families involved in the litigation settled before trial for a total amount less than what was awarded here.
It is one of the first hydraulic fracturing nuisance verdicts finding for plaintiffs but is not unprecedented.
A Texas jury awarded USD 2.9 million in 2014 to a family who alleged contamination from hydraulic fracturing operations caused them a variety of personal injuries, in Parr v. Aruba Petroleum in 2014.
In this case, however, no personal injury allegations were put before the jury.
Counsel for the plaintiffs, Leslie Lewis, a solo practitioner in New York, declined to speculate whether the case will have an impact on further litigation.
“I have no idea what the future will bring regarding other cases and future verdicts; this case was a particular fact pattern, with shoddy operations occurring early in the so-called ‘gas boom’ years,” Lewis said.