A Texas family was awarded $2.9 million in damages this week in a lawsuit alleging that problems with gas extraction wells near their home decreased the value of their land and caused them to suffer serious health problems. The fracking lawsuit was filed by the Parr family against Plano-based Aruba Petroleum Inc., and alleged that the company created a “private nuisance” to the Parrs by producing harmful air pollution and exposing them to toxic emissions of diesel exhaust and volatile organic compounds, which lowered their property value and severely damaged their health. If you believe you have been injured or your property has suffered damage because of the negligence of a drilling company or another party in Texas, contact our environmental contamination lawyers at Bandas Law Firm today for legal help.
DRILLING CAUSED HEALTH PROBLEMS, PROPERTY DAMAGE
According to the negligence lawsuit, which was originally filed by the Parr family in 2011, Aruba Petroleum had 22 natural gas wells within a two-mile radius of the Parrs’ property, with the closest just 791 feet away from their home. It was in late 2008 that they started experiencing severe health problems, and by 2009, Lisa Parr, her husband Robert, and their 11-year-old daughter Emma were seriously ill. “They had nosebleeds, vision problems, nausea, rashes, blood pressure issues,” said Lisa. “Being that the wells were not on our property, we had no idea that what they were doing on the property around us was affecting us.” In addition to the family’s multitude of health problems, the Parrs’ lawsuit also addressed the loss of property value caused by Aruba’s drilling practices, and the pollution and waste resulting from the gas wells.
FAMILY EXPOSED TO TOXIC CHEMICALS FROM FRACKING
Fracking, which is short for hydraulic fracturing, is the process by which drilling companies pump large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals into a shale or rock formation, in order to fracture the shale around the well and allow the natural gas to flow freely. According to Lisa Parr, she knew by July 2010 that the “loud operation” next door to the family’s ranch was toxic, and when her doctor found 20 chemicals in her body, he urged the Parrs to move from their 40-acre ranch immediately. The Parr family filed suit in March 2011, asking for $66 million in damages against nine companies that were originally believed to be involved in the drilling operations. Some companies were dismissed from the case and others reached settlements before trial, leaving Aruba Petroleum as the sole defendant in the Parrs’ lawsuit.