Matthews & Associates, along with attorney Brad Gilde of the Gilde Law Firm settled a Texas Fracking Case out of court this month with some defendants in the case of a Texas family’s ranch being surrounded and polluted by more than 50 natural gas wells.
The Parr family filed suit in March 2011 against nine natural gas concerns, alleging operations sickened them and poisoned their pets, poultry and livestock. The Parrs appear in Gasland II, the latest film by academy award nominee Josh Fox on the controversial deep drilling method used to extract natural gas deposits trapped in shale more than two miles beneath the earth’s surface. The method damages natural aquifers, severely pollutes the air all around the operations, and wastes an enormous amount of water, millions of gallons, at a time when water is, according to one former oil and gas baron turned aquifer buyer, T. Boone Pickens, who has called water, “the new oil.”
Attorney Brad Gilde has created and produced a unique blueprint for prosecuting these cases, considering air, land, water, and personal and property damages.
“Some defendants are nice enough to settle and not drag this out unnecessarily,” said Mr. Gilde. “Others are playing hide the ball and not answering discovery requests. They don’t want to produce incriminating evidence, so they’re not cooperating.”
Defendants still in this case include Aruba Petroleum and Encana Oil & Gas, (USA) Inc.
The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality has received dozens of odor, spill and nuisance complaints from Allison, Texas residents. However, enforcement actions are rare, if not existent, and do not remedy the damages suffered by the victims living near the operations.
Bob and Lisa Parr and (now) 9-year-old minor daughter, E.D., all began suffering severe nosebleeds. E.D. also developed respiratory, stomach and skin rash problems. Severe rashes covered Lisa’s body, she shook uncontrollably, lost her ability to walk properly, began stuttering and suffered memory loss. When lymph nodes in her neck swelled dramatically, she saw seven different doctors, underwent several unsucessful rounds of steroid therapy. Finally, the Parrs enlisted an environmental doctor, who found neurotoxins in Lisa’s blood that matched chemicals used in natural gas production surrounding the Parr home.
The Parr case is scheduled to be the first fracking trial to be held in the country. It will begin in Dallas sometime this Spring.
Matthews & Associates and Mr. Gilde are also looking at additional cases of natural gas fracking contamination not only in Texas, but also in Penn., N.Y., W.Va. and Ohio.