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Oklahoma Fracking Lawsuit Before State Supreme Court

January 30th, 2015

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will consider an Oklahoma fracking lawsuit in which a woman alleges that two oil companies are legally liable for injuries she sustained during an earthquake. Sandra Ladra filed the Oklahoma fracking lawsuit after she suffered injuries in a 2011 earthquake near the small town of Prague. The suit names Spess Oil Company and New Dominion, LLC, as defendants. The companies operate several fracking waste water disposal wells across the state.

Oklahoma Fracking Lawsuit Seeks Injury Compensation

On November 5, 2011, an earthquake struck near Prague, Oklahoma, a small town 55 miles west of Oklahoma City. In her Oklahoma fracking lawsuit, Mrs. Ladra reported that one of the large rocks from her fireplace smashed through a glass table, while another crashed into her right knee. She received treatment at a local emergency room and has undergone two additional operation on the injured knee. She also stated in her original Oklahoma fracking lawsuit that her doctor advised her to get knee joint replacement surgery.

Quakes Spur Oklahoma Fracking Lawsuit

Ms. Ladra first filed her Oklahoma fracking lawsuit in Lincoln County, in which she alleged that the fracking waste water disposal wells caused the earthquake. The Prague quake measured 5.6 on the Richter scale, the largest such tremor in Oklahoma history. Data from the Oklahoma Geological survey showed a tremor measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale struck the town earlier that morning, along with a 4.8 aftershock two days later. When the Lincoln County judge dismissed her Oklahoma fracking lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction, the Supreme Court decided to hear her appeal.

Science, Statistics Favor Oklahoma Fracking Lawsuit

The plaintiff in the Oklahoma fracking lawsuit may use scientific studies and recent statistics to back up her allegations. A study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey have tied the injection of waste water from fracking wells to an increased incidence of earthquakes in the affected areas. The study showed that the Prague tremors were caused by three injection wells within a few miles of the town. In 2014, the state recorded more than 560 earthquakes that measured at least 3.0 on the Richter scale. The state’s geological survey had not recorded so many 3.0 quakes in the previous 30 years combined.

Oklahoma Fracking Lawsuit May Affect State Economy

The defendants in the Oklahoma fracking lawsuit believe that a ruling against them may harm the state’s economy. Robert Gum, an attorney for New Dominion LLC, told the Lincoln County judge that a negative ruling in the Oklahoma fracking lawsuit would make waste water injection wells “economic and legal-liability pariahs.” He called the suit “ a very, very significant issue for the state (and) for the economy.” Mr. Gunn argued that the case should go before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, but the Supreme Court will rule on which court should have jurisdiction in the case.

Source: Tulsa World

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