Energy & Utilities Personal Injury

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Recovery for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Under California Law Gains a Greater Clarity

The recent decision in Wilson v. Southern California Edison Co., __Cal. App. 4th__, 2015 WL 522578, provides increased clarity into the California rule permitting claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED)...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Leaves Trespass Question Unanswered

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd., case number 12-0905, and specifically declined to address the issue of whether wastewater that migrates under...more

Is Wastewater Migration From Disposal Wells A Trespass Under Texas Law? The Texas Supreme Court Declines to Answer

In Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., a landowner sued the operator of a neighboring wastewater disposal facility on the theory that deep subsurface wastewater trespassed beneath the landowner’s...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

Indemnification by Insurance Precluded under Wyoming Anti-indemnity Statute in Oil & Gas Personal Injury Coverage Dispute

On December 19, 2014, the Federal District Court in Wyoming issued a decision in Lexington Insurance Company v. Precision Drilling Co., LP, et al. , D. Wyo., Case No. 12-cv-070-J, extending the reach of the anti-indemnity...more

California Appellate Court Upholds Bar to Liability by Premises Owners for Secondary Exposure

In Wanda Beckering v. Shell Oil Company, 2014 WL 6611088, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed the granting of summary judgment in favor of defendant Shell Oil Company, finding that the plaintiff was...more

Supreme Court's Petition Denial in Clean Air Act Pre-emption Case Reinforces Threat From Common Law Claims

The United States Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari earlier this month after the Iowa Supreme Court held in June that the plaintiffs' nuisance claims were not pre-empted by the Clean Air Act (CAA) in Freeman v....more

Proof and Causation Matter: District Court Declines to Penalize ExxonMobil in Texas Citizen Suit

On Wednesday, Judge David Hittner, of the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in a decision long enough to require two separate pdfs, declined to impose an injunction or penalties (plaintiffs sought...more

Underground Access

Draft legislation currently before the UK parliament proposes some significant changes to existing trespass laws to facilitate the development and growth of the geothermal and shale-gas industries in the UK. Originally...more

Womble Client Wins Stormwater Case in Charlottesville

Another victory in Central Virginia for Womble Carlyle. Last week, Albemarle County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Higgins ruled in favor of the Shops at Stonefield (also known as Albemarle Place), finding the stormwater...more

Proving An Operator’s Gross Negligence: Is Intention Required?

Establishing an operator’s gross negligence requires “a degree of intentionality”, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Bernum Petroleum Ltd v Birch Lake Energy Inc, 2014 ABQB 652 [Bernum]....more

Minerals Matter - Autumn 2014

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters. Whilst the economic picture has certainly improved over the last six months, there have been a number of stops and starts along the way. Data suggests further...more

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to...more

American Pipe Tolling Inapplicable In Texas Negligent Misstatement Case

The Southern District of Texas found that negligent misstatement claims filed more than two years after the last alleged misstatement were time-barred and that the applicable statute of limitations was not tolled under...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Limits Measure of Damages for Contaminated Properties

On August 27, 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Puritan Oil against a New Jersey property owner, finding that where the oil company had already taken steps to remedy contamination it caused on...more

Supreme Court Roundup: Recent Environmental Law Rulings and Pending Cases

Scaling back considerably from the October 2012 Term, the United States Supreme Court issued only a few rulings affecting environmental law during the October 2013 Term. With significant pronouncements regarding EPA’s Clean...more

Deepwater Horizon ruling puts focus on prevention

Last week’s decision by District Judge Carl Barbier exposes the UK-headquartered energy giant to up to $18bn in fines for the 2010 drillship incident because, under the same US laws that cover tanker spills, civil penalties...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

New Wave of State Law Air Pollution Torts?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Bell v. Cheswick could pave the way for more state common law air pollution tort suits and greater exposure for emitters. A new wave of state common law air pollution...more

Nuisance Claims Becoming More Than a Mere Nuisance in Texas

Plaintiffs Bob and Lisa Parr obtained a $2.9 million verdict in April 2014 against Aruba Petroleum, Inc. for health problems allegedly related to oil and gas drilling operations and air emissions near their home. The large...more

Which Ground for Federal Jurisdiction is the Safest in Dredging Cases?: Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood...

The Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (Plaintiff) Motion to Remand its suit against 92 oil and gas companies back to state...more

Frac(k)ing, Parr v. Aruba, and Minority Oppression

WHAT IS IT, FRACING OR FRACKING? Having gone back-and-forth over how to spell the process, I’ve figured it out....more

Nuisance Verdicts in the Barnett Shale: Two claims arising out of the same natural gas operations yield two very different...

On April 10, 2014, a Fort Worth jury rejected a landowner's nuisance claim against a well operator in Teri Anglim v. Chesapeake Operating Inc., 2011-008256-1. Plaintiff Teri Anglim claimed that Chesapeake's operations at two...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Petitions Challenging Proposed NY-NJ Gas Pipeline

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed petitions brought by the City of Jersey City, NJ, and various environmental organizations challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's ("FERC") order granting a...more

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