Personal Injury Energy & Utilities

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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

$2.9 Million Jury Award For Texas Fracking Claim: Lessons for Energy Company Risk Managers

A jury in Dallas recently awarded $2.9 million to a Texas family in one of the first trials involving allegations that hydraulic fracturing caused nearby residents to suffer health problems and property damage. Although...more

Supreme Court Allows Third Circuits GenOn Opinion to Stand: State Law Actions Not Preempted By the Clean Air Act

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Kristie Bell v. GenOn, where the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Clean Air Act did not preempt state common law actions seeking damages for air pollution....more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (6/14)

In its order list for June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued opinions in eight cases and granted review in one case. In this post, I will summarize the opinions in four cases, and also describe the case in which the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows to Stand Ruling That Sources of Air Pollutants are Subject to State Common Law Tort Claims

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not review a decision by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit allowing state common law tort claims against sources of air pollutants. This spells uncertainty...more

Operator Wins JOA Fight

MDU Barnett Ltd. P’ship v. Chesapeake Exploration Ltd. P’ship is at least three things: - The culmination of an unhappy relationship between an operator and non-operators. - What happens when joint owners’ interests...more

Plugging the Wrong Well is Likely to Impact Your Pocketbook

The Texas Railroad Commission’s contractor, Superior, plugged the 708S-5 well on behalf of the Commission. Oops! The contractor plugged the wrong well. ...more

The Construct - May 2014

In This Issue: - Green Law Corner - You Decide: Green Globes vs. LEED: The U.S. General Services Administration recently added Green Globes as an additional third-party green building certification system for...more

Dallas Jury Awards $3 Million Verdict Against Oil and Gas Production Company

On April 22, 2014, a Dallas jury awarded almost $3 million to a Texas family in a nuisance case referred to in media headlines as the first-of-its-kind “fracking” case. Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., No. 11-01650-E (County...more

Texas Jury Awards Damages for Fracking Nuisance Claim for the Second Time

Last Friday, a Texas jury awarded a Tarrant County couple $20,000 in damages after finding activities at a natural gas drilling site located 165 feet from their property constituted a temporary private nuisance. The verdict...more

$2.9 Million Verdict for Plaintiffs Against Oil and Gas Driller

On April 22, 2014, after a two-and-a-half week trial, a Dallas County Court at Law entered a final judgment on a split jury verdict awarding $2.925 million to Texas family, Bob and Lisa Parr from Decatur, against Barnett...more

Responding To Litigation Risk From Climate Change - Informed Decision Making

In the last few weeks, several major organisations, including the OECD and the US federal government, have released reports on the need to deal with climate change risk. Significantly, the world's largest global insurance...more

"Hydraulic Fracturing" Verdict in Texas State Court -- Texas family recovers $3 million based on nuisance theory

On April 22, 2014, a six-person jury in Dallas awarded a Texas family $2.925 million in a trial based on medical problems allegedly caused by natural gas development. While the case involved gas wells that had been...more

Texas Family Awarded $2.9 Million in Damages from Fracking Nuisance Claims

On April 22, 2014, a Dallas County, Texas jury awarded a family $2.9 million dollars for personal injury and property damages arising out of their suit against Aruba Petroleum, Inc. The jury’s verdict includes damage awards...more

Important Case on Subsurface Trespass Pending before the Texas Supreme Court

Fluids associated with oil & gas production frequently move across subsurface property lines. For example, injected fracing fluids and disposed saltwater often move beyond the lease on which the particular injection well is...more

Energy Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - Important Case on Subsurface Trespass Pending before the Texas Supreme Court - U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS - Texas...more

Restoring the Duty of Care Analysis to Negligence Claims in Third-party Proceedings

The Alberta Court of Appeal has provided some helpful guidance on the scope of third-party claims in O’Connor Associates Environmental Inc v MEC OP LLC, 2014 ABCA 140, narrowing the scope and application of the decision of...more

$3 Million Verdict in Fracking Case - Fluke or the Harbinger of Claims to Come?

In a highly anticipated verdict reached on April 22, 2014, a Dallas County Court at Law jury awarded the Parr family $2.925 million against Aruba Petroleum on a nuisance claim arising out of drilling in the Barnett Shale in...more

Negligent Operation Of A Storm Sewer: A New Theory Of Climate Change Liability

We have written many times about the flawed design of the nation's flood maps in an era of climate change. And spoken about the potential for claims against professionals for failure to consider the effects of climate change...more

A Plaintiffs’ Jury Verdict In A Texas Fracing Case

In case you’ve been living in your van down by the river, you’ve heard that a Texas jury awarded $2.9 million to landowners in a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. ...more

Texas Jury Awards $3 Million in Hydraulic Fracturing Lawsuit

A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded nearly $3 million on April 22, 2014, in a suit contending that Aruba Petroleum, Inc., as well as other operators and service providers, had caused “environmental contamination and...more

Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

Taking the Fight to the Ice: Ontario Court of Appeal allows enforcement action against Canadian subsidiary for environmental...

In Yaiguaje v Chevron Corporation, 2013 ONCA 758, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that Ontario has jurisdiction to recognize and enforce a foreign judgment against a Canadian subsidiary that was not a party to the foreign...more

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