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Fracking Lawsuit

Fracking Lawsuit

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” was once a popular way to extract natural gas. The boom is over, but environmental damage remains. Oil and gas companies are now facing lawsuits for air pollution, water contamination, and earthquake damage.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting fracking cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know had air or water contamination from fracking, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Chemical Exposure Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

EPA Links Fracking Wells to Earthquakes in North Texas

August 25, 2016 — The EPA believes there is “significant possibility” that fracking wells caused a recent spike in earthquake activity in North Texas. There were 21 magnitude-3.0 or greater quakes in Texas last year, including a 4.0 quake just south of Dallas that caused minor damage. Click here to read more.

$4.2 Million Awarded in Fracking Lawsuit

March 2016 — A federal jury in Pennsylvania has awarded $4.2 million in damages to two families who say fracking contaminated their drinking water. Three years earlier, 40 families in Pennsylvania settled with Cabot for an undisclosed amount of money.

Lawsuits Filed in Oklahoma for Earthquake Damage

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that oil and gas companies can be sued for injuries caused by earthquakes in fracking areas. The decision came after a lawsuit was filed by a woman whose chimney collapsed and crushed her legs.

What is Fracking?

Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” became a popular method of extracting natural gas from shale reserves in the United States in the last decade. The technique has been known since the 1940s, but was not cost-effective until oil prices skyrocketed in the 1990s.

In simplified terms, the process begins with a vertical well drilled about a mile underground and a horizontal hole drilled into a gas-bearing layer of rock. Fracking fluid is pumped into the well at extremely high pressure, which breaks the rock into millions of tiny pieces.

How Toxic is Fracking Fluid?

The fluid contains contains millions of gallons of water, several thousand tons of sand, and tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals. We don’t know what chemicals because gas companies say ingredients are are “trade secrets,” but we do know the fluid is extremely toxic.

After the toxic fluid is sucked out of the well, sand props open the cracks and releases gas and oil. The wells are rapidly depleted and abandoned, forcing oil companies to drill new wells at breakneck speed to keep output steady.

What is the problem?

Dealing with the “waste-water” is complicated. It may contain radioactive material, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, carcinogens, and other toxins. So the water is re-injected into wells deep underground and sealed off forever. But that’s not where the story ends.

Over 15 million Americans now live within one mile of a fracking operation, as an “unprecedented industrialization” has brought it into our own backyard. In many cases, homeowners are helpless to defend themselves. The oil and gas industry has successfully sued local communities that tried to ban fracking near residents, and bans have been struck down by the courts.

Water Contamination

One concern about fracking is water contamination. Generally, 2-8 million gallons of fresh water are used to frack a well, but some consume much more. There are about 1.5 million active fracking wells in the United State, and all that waste-water has to go somewhere.

Last year, the Washington Post reported “‘significant damage’ to drinking-water aquifers” in Northeastern Pennsylvania due to fracking. In Pennsylvania alone, there are 271 confirmed reports of water degradation due to fracking. Many water sources have been contaminated, but no one knows the long-term risks.

Methane Migration

You have probably seen videos of water catching on fire due to high levels of methane gas in water, known as “methane migration.” Oil companies try to deny responsibility by saying methane naturally rises to the surface, but this process normally takes thousands of years. Fracking makes cracks that can help methane escape from the earth.

Fracking Earthquakes

Another concern is earthquakes. In Oklahoma, a state with a history of mild seismic activity, there were 890 magnitude-3.0 or greater earthquakes in 2015 — more than all the earthquakes in the last 30 years combined, or anywhere else in the world. Experts believe that wastewater injection wells are responsible for “lubricating” giant slabs of rock deep underground.

Fracking Causes Most Earthquakes in Texas, Oklahoma

Fracking and other oil and gas activities caused 60% of earthquakes in Texas over the last 40 years, according to researchers at the University of Texas. The study (PDF) concluded that only 13% of the 162 earthquakes in the state occurred naturally between 1985 and 2015. Last year, there were 21 of magnitude-3.0 or greater. Click here to read more.

Fracking Class Action Lawsuit

Our law firm is not filing a fracking class action at this time. Instead, we are filing individual lawsuits for people with the following legal claims:

  • Drinking water contamination
  • Earthquake injuries
  • Property damage
  • Lost property value due to pollution

Do I have a Fracking Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting fracking cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know had air or water contamination from fracking, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Toxic Chemical Exposure Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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Free Case Evaluation

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading plaintiff’s law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firms reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.

No matter what type of case you have, you may contact us with confidence by filling out the email contact form below or calling us directly by dialing toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 920-0753.

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