July 1, 2015 — Residents of Oklahoma who have been injured by earthquakes linked to drilling operations can now sue oil and gas companies, according to a ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The decision was handed down after Gary and Sandra Ledra appealed the dismissal of a case against Spess Oil Co. and New Dominion, LLC, two companies that operate a waste-water injection well near the Ledras’ home in Prague, Oklahoma.
The New York Times reports that Ms. Ledra was seriously injured in November 2011, when a 5.0-magnitude earthquake topped a two-story chimney on her home. Large pieces of stone broke through the roof and hit her legs and knees.
Oklahoma is not known as an earthquake-prone region, and in the past the state saw only one or two earthquakes per year. But since 2009, when hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations boomed, the state has seen a 600-fold increase in earthquakes. Last year, there were 585 earthquakes in Oklahoma, and this year there could be more than 1,000 magnitude-3.0 or higher quakes.
According to Bloomberg, experts say these quakes are “very likely” triggered by wastewater injection wells.
The culprit of earthquakes near fracking sites is not believed to be the act of drilling, but rather the disposal wells. Fracking operations inject millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a well, cracking the rock to release oil and gas. The water, which may contain highly-toxic chemicals, is then injected into disposal wells deep underground. As the popularity of fracking has increased, so have the number and strength of earthquakes.
Do I have a Fracking Earthquake Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by an earthquake caused by fracking, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Personal Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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