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Lawsuit Filed In Pennsylvania Over Hydraulic Fracturing

LENOX TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Parker Waichman Alonso LLP has announced the filing of a lawsuit against Southwest Energy Production Company and its parent, Southwestern Energy Company, both of Houston, on behalf of 13 families in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, who allege that their water wells have been contaminated due to gas drilling operations being conducted by Southwest Energy Production Company.

The lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania Civil Division (Civil Action No: 2010-1882CP). In addition to Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, Plaintiffs are being represented by The Law Office of Michael Gleeson; Neblett, Beard & Arsenault; and the Becnel Law Firm, LLC.

According to the complaint, Southwest Energy Production Company is the owner and operator of the Price #1 Well in Lenox Township, where the plaintiffs live. In April 2008, Southwest Energy began utilizing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to extract natural gas from the Price #1 Well. Hydraulic fracturing requires the discharge of enormous volumes of hydraulic fracturing fluids otherwise known as "fracking fluid" or "drilling mud" into the ground under extreme pressure to dislodge and discharge the gas contained under the ground.

The lawsuit alleges that the composition of fracking fluid includes hazardous chemicals that are carcinogenic and toxic. Diesel fuel and lubricating materials, also consisting of hazardous chemicals, are also used during drilling and well operations. The plaintiffs allege that Southwest Energy Production Company was negligent in the drilling, construction and operation of the Price #1 Well and allowed pollutants, including fracking fluid, to be discharged into the ground or into the waters near plaintiffs' homes and water wells.

The lawsuit alleges that, among other things, plaintiffs' water wells have been contaminated, and that they have been and continue to be exposed to hazardous chemicals, including barium, manganese and strontium. As a result, plaintiffs have had to pay for alternative sources of water. The lawsuit further alleges that the value of the plaintiffs' property has diminished, and they have lost the use and enjoyment of their property, and the quality of life they otherwise enjoyed.

At least one of the plaintiffs is alleged to have become physically ill, and exhibits neurological symptoms consistent with toxic exposure to heavy metals. The other plaintiffs live in constant fear of future physical illness, particularly with respect to the health of their minor children and grandchildren, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction barring Southwest Energy Partners from engaging in the acts cited by the complaint, as well as abatement of the nuisances, unlawful conduct, violations and damages created by those acts. It also seeks, among other things, compensatory damages, punitive damages and the cost of future health monitoring.

Parker Waichman Alonso LLP is a personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. For more information, visit