Product News and Recalls

Families pursue nuisance complaints in fracking suits

According to a story in Bloomberg, some families who have filed lawsuits over the natural gas extraction method called “hydraulic fracturing,” or “fracking,” have changed their tactics.

The families in question live in Pennsylvania along the Marcellus Shale — a gas-rich underground rock formation that also extends into New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia.

Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water underground to break up underlying rock formations and release trapped pockets of natural gas. It’s proven controversial because the water is treated with toxic chemicals such as the carcinogen benzene, and regional residents are afraid of the environmental impact.

According to Bloomberg, six Pennsylvania families have filed fracking lawsuits against Chevron Corp., units of The Williams Companies Inc. and WPX Energy Inc.

Rather than focusing on property damage like poisoned water from fracking, however, the plaintiffs are pursuing nuisance suits based in part on the loss of use and enjoyment of property through noise, odors or vibration.

Bloomberg says such “quality of life” lawsuits are increasingly being included in complaints containing a spectrum of environmental allegations against drillers and distributors.

Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.