TULSA, Okla. - A chemical company that provided hydraulic fracturing fluid for completion of a well in Texas was granted summary judgment in part on March 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma; the presiding judge ordered additional briefing with respect to negligence and express warranty causes of action (Crest Resources Inc. v. Dan Blocker Petroleum Consultants, Inc., No. 09-766, N.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29518).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt oil and gas company Green Field Energy Services Inc. (GFES) on Jan. 28 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to a motion for relief from the automatic stay filed by a creditor that wants to repossess leased equipment or pursue final payment for that equipment (In Re: Green Field Energy Services Inc., No. 13-12783, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt energy company Green Field Energy Services Inc. (GFES) on Jan. 8 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware defending its plan to pay bonuses to key employees on grounds that they are "necessary" to maximize the value of the bankruptcy estate (In Re: Green Field Energy Services Inc., No. 13-12783, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Green Field Energy Services Inc. (GFES), an oil and gas company that engages in the practice known as "fracking," on Oct. 27 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sought $45 million in post-petition financing to boost its restructuring efforts (In Re: Green Field Energy Services Inc., No. 13-12783, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania physician who alleges that statutory restrictions on his ability to discover the chemicals in proprietary hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas extraction violates his civil rights under the First and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and exposes him to professional disciplinary action by the American Medical Association lacks standing to challenge the statute, a U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania judge ruled Oct. 23 (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, M.D., v. Michael L. Krancer, et al., No. 12-1458, M.D. PA.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152207).
WASHINGTON, Pa. - A confidential $750,000 settlement agreement concluded in June 2011 between a Washington County, Pa., family and natural gas extraction companies was filed Aug. 12 in the Washington County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas, 27th Judicial District; the case records were unsealed in March, but the settlement agreement was missing from the case file when it was delivered to the Washington County prothonotary in August 2011 (Stephanie Hallowich, et vir v. Range Resources Corp., et al., No. 10-3954, Pa. Comm. Pls., 27th Dist., Washington Co.).
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ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Natural gas extraction companies sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York by Big Flats, N.Y., residents alleging that their domestic water wells are contaminated with explosive gases and chemicals used by natural gas extraction companies in hydraulic fracturing on June 27 were denied motions to exclude expert reports characterized by the defendants as untimely and lacking in detail (Jason Baker, et al. v. Anschutz Exploration Corp., et al., No. 11-6119, W.D. N.Y.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals court has dismissed on a writ of mandamus counterclaims by a natural gas company that property owners and their environmental consultant conspired to defame the company by publicizing alleged contamination of their well water by hydraulic fracture stimulation (fracking), saying April 22 that the state's law protecting participation in issues of public concern barred many of the gas company's claims (In re Steven and Shyla Lipsky and Alisa Rich, relators, No. 2-12-00348-CV, Texas App, 2nd Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 4975).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A motion to dismiss filed by a natural gas storage defendant in a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia lawsuit alleging methane contamination of a domestic water well was denied April 10, but the plaintiffs were instructed to file a more definite statement of the claims; the order confirms rulings from the bench during a Feb. 19 status conference (Jeremiah N. Magers, et uxor v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 12-49, N.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51638).
WASHINGTON, Pa. - A confidential settlement agreement between a Washington County, Pa., family and natural gas extraction companies was unsealed by a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Washington County judge March 20 on the grounds that businesses do not have a constitutional right of privacy that overcomes the common-law presumption of access to government documents (Stephanie Hallowich, et vir v. Range Resources Corp., et al., No. 10-3954, Pa. Comm. Pls., Washington Co.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Trespass, inconvenience and fraudulent misrepresentation claims against natural gas extraction companies accused of contaminating the domestic water well of a Pennsylvania couple with methane and hydraulic fracturing chemicals were dismissed Jan. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; negligence, negligence per se, private nuisance and breach of contract claims survived the defense motion to dismiss (Frederick J. Roth, et uxor v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., et al., No. 12-898, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12261).
NEW ORLEANS - A unanimous Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 affirmed voluntary dismissal of property damage and personal injury claims against a natural gas extraction company but amended the order to dismiss the claims with prejudice because of an abuse of discretion by the trial court (Doug Harris, et uxor v. Devon Energy Production Co., No. 12-40137, 5th Cir.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Natural gas extraction companies accused of contaminating the domestic water well of a Pennsylvania couple with methane and hydraulic fracturing chemicals were denied a motion on Oct. 15 to compel production of evidence in support of a prima facie case before the beginning of discovery (Frederick J. Roth, et uxor v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., et al., No. 12-898, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147915).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Final judgment for some 41 of the dozens of plaintiffs in a Susquehanna County, Pa., dispute between residents and natural gas extraction companies was entered Sept. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; the confidential settlement was announced Aug. 13 (Norma J. Fiorentino, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, et al., No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38294.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A plaintiff alleging personal injury and property damage claims against natural gas extraction companies in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania will not be required to produce prima facie evidence in support of his claims within 120 days as requested by the companies because the defendants failed to meet their burden for an amendment to the case management order, the presiding magistrate judge concluded Sept. 5 (Edward E. Kamuck v. Shell Energy Holdings, et al., No. 11-1425, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125566).
CLEVELAND - A defense motion to dismiss was granted in part on Aug. 13 against Ohio property owners who allege that natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing contaminated their real property and domestic water well, but a defense motion to require the plaintiffs to produce evidence of a prima facie case before discovery was denied in a lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (William Boggs, et uxor v. Landmark 4, No. 12-614, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114263).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two federal workplace safety agencies on June 21 issued a hazard alert about worker exposure to silica in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) after air samples at 116 sites found concentrations of up to 100 times the permitted or recommended limits ("OSHA-NIOSH Hazard Alert: Worker Exposure to Silica during Hydraulic Fracturing," OSHA). Review a copy of the OSHA Hazard Alert attached below.
CHARLESTON. W.Va. - The judge presiding over a domestic water well contamination and personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia entered orders May 17 dismissing the claims against one natural gas extraction defendant because the parties reached a settlement and against a second defendant on a motion for summary judgment for failing to state a claim (Dennis Hagy, et al. v. Equitable Production Co., et al., No. 10-1372, S.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69099).
SCRANTON, Pa. - The Bradford County, Pa., families seeking relief from an order granting stipulated, binding arbitration with natural extraction companies accused of contaminating domestic water wells were denied relief May 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Jason Otis, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 11-115, M.D. Pa.; Edwin Bidlack, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, et al., No. 11-129, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66252; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66264).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - The judge presiding over a lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by a Tioga County, Pa., landowner against natural gas extraction companies issued an order April 27 adopting in part the findings and recommendations of the magistrate judge; negligence, strict liability and ultrahazardous activity claims survive defense motions to dismiss for failing to state a claim (Edward E. Kamuck v. Shell Energy Holdings, et al., No. 11-1425, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59113).-->