image description

Jury In Fracking Lawsuit Awards Texas Family Nearly $3 Million

April 26th, 2014

A jury awarded a Texas family $2.95 million in a fracking lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum Inc. The Parr family, who filed the suit in 2011, alleged that the 22 wells the oil company drilled near their property exposed them to hazardous chemicals and industrial waste. The family was awarded $250,000 for future physical pain and suffering, $275,000 for losses on property value, $400,000 for mental anguish and $2 million for past physical pain and suffering.

How Fracking Works

Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves the use of high-powered liquid jets in the exploration for new sources of natural gas. The fracking fluid consists of a mixture of water, sand and chemicals, including such toxic ingredients as lead, mercury, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde. High-pressure pumps inject the fracking liquid to depths of 10,000 feet or more, where the mixture breaks up the rocks and frees up the natural gas.

Oil Company Created “Nuisance” in Fracking Lawsuit

The Parrs’ fracking lawsuit stems from the waste products left over from the process, which can include volatile organic compounds such as benzene. Five of the six jurors voted for the plaintiff’s claims that the oil producer “intentionally created a private nuisance” with their search for natural gas in the Barnett Shale region. Environmental activists are hailing the verdict as the biggest, and possibly the first, such ruling against a company engaged in fracking efforts.

Illnesses Lead to Fracking Lawsuit

Bob Parr, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Emma, reported experiencing severe illnesses that coincided with Aruba’s fracking attempts. According to their fracking lawsuit, they endured nosebleeds, cardiac arrhythmia, muscle spasms and skin sores resulting from their exposure to the toxic chemicals at the fracking site. When Lisa Parr underwent blood tests for four large welts on her neck, the tests found chemicals that matched those at the site.

Family Sought Higher Amount in Fracking Lawsuit

Although the family received the highest award in any fracking lawsuit in recent memory, it may not be enough for them to recover from the damage done. In addition to the high medical bills the family has racked up, many of their house pets and livestock were either sickened or died from exposure to the chemical mixture. A newborn calf on their ranch was born premature and undersized. The family and their attorney sought up to $66 million in damages from Aruba, but the jury ruled that the company acted without malice.

Future of Fracking Lawsuits?

Environmental attorney Deborah Goldberg stated that the Parrs’ case may be an indicator of the outcome for future fracking lawsuits. She told the magazine ThinkProgress that “people are beginning to realize that they can document what the impacts (of fracking) are going to be.” She also said that, as data such as those related to the Parrs’ case becomes more visible, the connection between fracking and illnesses will become more apparent to juries, making it more difficult for exploration companies to deny their liability.

Source: ThinkProgress

Know Your Rights in a Fracking Lawsuit

To find out how we can help you with a fracking lawsuit, contact us today at 1-855-877-7455. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a fracking lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.

  • Posted in Featured
  • Comments Off on Jury In Fracking Lawsuit Awards Texas Family Nearly $3 Million

Comments are closed.