A Dallas jury awarded $2.9 million to Bob and Lisa Parr in their lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum, Inc, for intentionally causing a nuisance on the Parrs’ property, located in the Barnett Shale drilling area in north Texas. The Parrs alleged that the fracking operations were affecting their health and ruining their drinking water. Bradford Gilde, one of the attorneys representing the Parrs, comments on the lawsuit.
Gilde believes that this is the first personal injury case arising from fracking operations. The Parrs’ problems began about November, 2008. That is about the time that Aruba began drilling in close proximity to the Parrs’ home. The Parrs suffered a wide range of physical problems. Explains Gilde, “They had nosebleeds, rashes, dizziness, headaches, confusion, [and] stumbling.” In time, they began to associate their health problems with the natural gas fracking operations.
Gilde says that, after an investigation was conducted, it was apparent that these symptoms were all classic signs of aromatic hydrocarbon overexposure and that releases of these chemicals by Aruba were causing the problems.
Gilde says that the case has given him a new view of fracking, which is a very new technology. When fracking first began, operations were largely unregulated, Gilde adds that many families have had the problems experienced by the Parrs. Some changes in the law will go into effect in 2015. Gilde feels that the results in this case will help positive changes occur that will benefit both the public and the companies engaged in fracking operations.
Gilde says that the litigation faced significant challenges. Texas law is not very favorable to lawsuits like this. “Oil and gas is part of our heritage.” Other hurdles that had to be overcome were causation issues and the use of expert testimony. In the end, the Parrs persuaded the jury.
Bradford J. Gilde is the founder of the Gilde Law Firm of Houston. Brad Gilde is dedicated to helping clients bradwith their legal issues - mesothelioma, asbestos exposure, fracking and natural gas exposure, trucking and auto accidents, nursing home abuse, industrial accidents, prescription drugs, severe personal injury, and contract disputes. From his success as a trial attorney, he brings keen strategic foresight, extensive factual knowledge and a commitment to client satisfaction to every case. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.