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The Courts Power The Almighty Buck Technology

Texas Family Awarded $2.9 Million In Fracking Lawsuit 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-mess-with-texas dept.
New submitter martinQblank writes "CNN reports: A Texas family whose home was within a two-mile radius of 22 natural gas wells — one of which was less than 800 feet away — has been awarded $2.9 million by a jury. The family, who suffered from a variety of ailments (including nosebleeds, rashes, migraines and more), was advised by a doctor to leave their ranch immediately and see a physician specializing in environmental health. The defendant in the case, Aruba Petroleum, disagreed with the jury's decision, as did other attorneys who are familiar with the energy sector — calling in a 'knee-jerk' reaction. Additionally the company noted that they had complied with all applicable environmental regulations. The family itself? Still in favor of oil and natural gas extraction: 'We are not anti-fracking or anti-drilling. My goodness, we live in Texas. Keep it in the pipes, and if you have a leak or spill, report it and be respectful to your neighbors. If you are going to put this stuff in close proximity to homes, be respectful and careful.'"
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Texas Family Awarded $2.9 Million In Fracking Lawsuit

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  • Re:Um yeah (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 26, 2014 @09:00AM (#46847549)

    We are not anti-fracking or anti-drilling. My goodness, we live in Texas.

    Yeah, we love fracking! Now give us the 2.9 million dollars...

    Considering the fucking lawyers will get most of that settlement, kindly STFU. Settlement amounts are offset for the legal teams. Any moron knows that.

  • Re:Um yeah (Score:5, Informative)

    by LifesABeach (234436) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @09:32AM (#46847671)
    One need only stand down wind to become more aware.
  • Re:mystery ailments (Score:5, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Saturday April 26, 2014 @09:32AM (#46847673)

    They have common health problems

    Oh really? Which problem are you saying is common? Having 20 toxic chemicals found in your body?

    "By 2009, I was having a multitude of problems," Lisa Parr told CNN. "My central nervous system was messed up. I couldn't hear, and my vision was messed up. My entire body would shake inside. I was vomiting white foam in the mornings."
    ...

    In 2009, Lisa's husband, Robert, and their 11-year-old daughter, Emma, also became ill, suffering a laundry-list of symptoms.

    "They had nosebleeds, vision problems, nausea, rashes, blood pressure issues. Being that the wells were not on our property, we had no idea that what they were doing on the property around us was affecting us," she said.

    "One night, our whole house was vibrating and shaking. We lease that property for our cattle and so I went over there to make sure our cattle wasn't around there, and when I went over there my nose and throat started burning." . ...

    Parr called the state Commission on Environmental Quality.

    "My doctor, an internal specialist, found 20 chemicals in my body and he said, 'Lisa you must move immediately. You will spend more time and money on hospitals, chemotherapy, and a mortician ... and you need to get an environmental health doctor immediately,' " she said.

    The Parrs filed suit in March 2011, asking for $66 million in damages against nine companies that were originally thought to be involved

  • Re:mystery ailments (Score:4, Informative)

    by mysidia (191772) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:21PM (#46854703)

    I would bet you'd be hard pressed to find a household that hasn't had someone with 1 or all of them at some point in any given 12 month period

    You think it is perfectly normal for a family of 3... all 3 of them to start experiencing all these symptoms simultaneously with extreme severity? It doesn't matter how common you think the symptoms are. This is not explainable as a normal phenomenon. It is a definite indication of a problem, possible poisoning. They are also miserable symptoms to suffer.

    There are 60 or so chemical elements found in every person on the planet

    See this article, Page 2A this article [earthworksaction.org]

    "I hired someone to do water and air sampling at the home," she said. "The methane level in my daughter's room was at asphyxiation levels. And it was barely lower than what it was outside our home."
    "She showed the results to her doctor, who told her to leave her home within 48 hours."

    .... ....

    In early fall 2009, she visited an environmental doctor who confirmed the presence of neurotoxins in her blood that matched chemicals used in natural gas production.

    Medical tests confirmed the toxins in Lisa's system matched toxins found in the atmosphere in an air-quality investigation conducted by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) at a nearby gas well site.

    On the evening of July 25, 2010, the Parrs smelled as trong odor emanating from a frac tank at a site operated by Arbua Petroleum of Plano. They reported it to TCEQ. Investigators arrived within hours to capture air samples.

    Odors were detected up to a quarter-mile from the well site.
    The investigator, Damon Armstrong, reported that a "plume" wafting from the tank was "visible with the naked eye." The petroleum-like odor was so intense the investigator himself felt sick in the short time he was there.

    Noting dizziness and sore throat.

    The analysis found five compounds that exceeded safe values for short-term health effects, and another 20 exceeded safe levels for long-term effects.


    The investigation found elevated levels of ethane, pentane, bexane, octane, xylene, and nonae, all potentially toxic chemicals.

    Four days later, a medical test discovered the same chemicals inside Lisa.

    "The environmental specialist ran numerous tests on me." Lisa said, "I had about 20 of the chemicals they use in the oil and gas industry in my tissues and in my blood system. Never in my life had I been so sick."

    Aruba operates many of the 21 gas wells surrounding the Parr Home. TCEQ has received dozens of odor, spill, and nuisance complaints from Allison residents in the community over the past year.

    Enforcement actions are pending against two nearby Aruba sites, one for nuisance and another for violations without authorization.

    The company has been fined more than $30,000 in the past year by TCEQ for operations in the Allison area.

    The July 25 report recommended Aruba receive two more violations. One was for contaminants being in such concentration and of such duration ... to be injurious to or to adversly affect human health or welfare, animal life, vegetation, or property." A second was for failure to claim authorization for a facility emitting air contaminants.


    No gas wells are in the Parrs' 40 acres. The wells in question surround their land, hundreds of yards removed from the home. But their location makes it a natural pocket for collecting heavy toxins.


    "We live below a ridge in a little valley," Bob said. "At night when the wind dies down, anything down here sits and settles. Some of these chemicals and toxins are heavier than the air."


    "I was pretty much losing my memory," she said "I couldn't walk straight, and I kept falling down. I

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