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).