Earthquake Lawsuit Lawyer
Oklahoma earthquakes have damaged hundreds of homes and businesses in recent years. Several homeowners have filed lawsuits against fracking companies which, the lawsuits allege, are responsible for the quakes and the resulting property damage. If your home or business has been damaged by earthquakes, contact an experienced earthquake lawyer for a free legal consultation regarding a potential Oklahoma Earthquake lawsuit or Fracking Lawsuit.
Oklahoma has suffered a marked increase in earthquakes after extensive fracking operations began in 2009. Several scientists have attributed the quakes to hydraulic fracturing or fracking operations that crack and collapse shale formations deep beneath the earth.
In 2016, 14 different Edmond, Oklahoma homeowners filed a lawsuit against 12 energy companies. The lawsuit claims the companies’ fracking operations have caused the tremendous increase in area earthquakes. The lawsuit specifically targets the companies’ wastewater disposal wells. Companies inject fracking wastewater deep into these wells, which the petition says “caused or contributed” to the many earthquakes and constituted an “ultrahazardous activity.”
Fracking “Negligent, Careless, Reckless,” says Petition
Filed in Oklahoma County court, the lawsuit focuses on two earthquakes – 4.3 and 4.2 magnitude quakes – that struck Edmond on December 29, 2015 and January 1, 2016. Plaintiffs say property damage they suffered from the earthquakes was caused by the companies’ fracking operations. The petition alleges that the fracking companies’ surrounding wastewater injection practices were “negligent, careless, and reckless” in causing the earthquakes.
Property Damage from Earthquakes
The lawsuit reads: “As a direct and proximate result of defendants’ negligence, plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer severe and permanent damage to their persons and property.” (The damage includes) “cracked and broken interior and exterior walls” and “movement of the foundations beneath their dwellings.” The petition additionally charges that these damages have caused the residents “mental and emotional anguish, fear, and worry.”
Wastewater Injection Earthquakes
Wastewater injection has been shown to increase earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey said in a 2015 report that many earthquakes that have fractured Midwest lands since 2009 could be linked to oil and gas companies’ injecting wastewater deep underground. Many scientists believe that pumping wastewater into a fault could cause it to slip and cause an earthquake. Wastewater injection has been linked to earthquakes in Texas and Ohio.
Oklahoma has seen a major increase in earthquakes. From 1991 to 2008, Oklahoma experienced no more than three 3.0 magnitude or higher earthquakes every year. Then, in 2009, the state started to see a large increase. In 2014, Oklahoma was the most seismically active state in the lower 48 U.S. states, with 585 quakes. 2015 was even higher, with 857 quakes — more than all the lower 48 states combined.
OK Supreme Court Ok’s Earthquake Suits
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that people could sue oil companies for damages they claim were caused by earthquakes. That ruling means some Oklahoma fracking lawsuits already filed will be able to proceed. One Oklahoma fracking lawsuit seeks class-action status for people affected by earthquakes in several different Oklahoma counties. Most of the lawsuits focus primarily on property damage allegedly caused by extensive fracking operations in the state.
Earthquake Lawsuit – Free Legal Consultation
Matthews & Associates is investigating Oklahoma fracking lawsuits and other types of fracking lawsuits in Oklahoma and the rest of the U.S. Contact us for a Free Legal Consultation regarding a potential fracking lawsuit.