The environmental, scientific, and medical relationship between health issues and fracking activities by natural gas drilling companies remains a controversial and heavily debated issue. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, “is best understood as a process by which drillers pump large amounts of
water mixed with sand and chemicals into a shale or rock formation [and] the wells can be deeper than 8,000 feet, and the process fractures the shale around the well, allowing the natural gas in the shale to flow freely.”
Despite this, a number of significant cases have highlighted the civil liability that fracking and natural gas drilling companies may face when there are environmental and health based issues involved. For instance, a very well known story involves the Parr family in Decatur, Texas, that purchased their dream home sitting on a 40-acre ranch, 60 miles NorthWest of Dallas. Over the course of time, a number of fracking companies began to set up shop in close proximity to their home, and over time it was estimated that the natural gas drilling company had established approximately 22 gas wells in a two-mile radius to the family’s property, with the closest well being only 791 feet away.
At some point after their 40-acre ranch had essentially become enclosed by natural gas drilling operations, the family began to notice and observe a number of health issues including nosebleeds, vision problems, nausea, rashes, and blood pressure issues. Additionally, the family experienced the daily inconvenience, anxiety, and mental stress associated with ongoing traffic, noises, dust, and other quality of life issues resulting from the immense industry that had developed around their homestead.
The family eventually filed a lawsuit against the natural gas drilling company, seeking a number of legal claims including trespass, invasion of privacy, private nuisance, and most significantly, claims of personal injury for health-related issues. After nearly a two-week jury trial, a decision was made in favor of the Parr family and they were awarded $2.9 million as a result. Although fracking and natural gas drilling operations have greatly benefited our economy, the issue becomes whether such benefits outweigh the severe risk to safety and public health that arises from such fracking-based activities. Here, the Parr family clearly suffered ongoing medical and health harms, to which the jury agreed and determined to hold the natural gas drilling company personally liable. Cases such as the one involving the Parr family are bringing more attention to the issue of fracking and long-term health conditions and the need for the industry to try and minimize such health risks.
Let Our Attorneys Help You Today
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with or are suffering from fracking-related health issues, you need attorneys with experience in such personal injury matters, especially when such personal injury claims involve powerful natural gas companies. Colombo Law can fully evaluate your claims involving such very serious and adverse health conditions and provide you the legal representation you require.