Colorado Family Sues Oil And Gas Drilling Firms

Colorado Family Sues Oil And Gas Drilling Firms by Catherine Tsai, March 25, 2011, CBS Local
DENVER (AP) – A western Colorado family has filed a lawsuit saying that negligence by oil and gas drilling companies contaminated their drinking water and air and forced them from their home. Beth and Bill Strudley and their sons, ages 11 and 13, moved in 2005 outside Silt but said they started living in Glenwood Springs this year to escape the effects of work by Antero Resources Corp. and subcontractors Frontier Drilling and Calfrac Well Services. The Strudleys still own the home outside Silt. Their lawsuit in Denver District Court accuses all three firms of negligence. … The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates oil and gas development, has said it has found no scientific data that the water quality in the family’s well was contaminated by drilling, but the Strudleys said they have conducted their own tests. They and their lawyers declined to disclose the results Thursday, saying only that they were “abnormal.”

Residents in the Battlement Mesa community also have complained of odors that have caused nausea, dizziness, coughing and burning eyes that they say are because of Antero’s operations. The Strudleys are represented in part by a law firm that has filed a suit alleging drilling by the Anschutz Exploration Corp. in New York contaminated the drinking water of nine families. Denver-based Anschutz Exploration has called the lawsuit “an act of financial extortion” by some lawyers trying to enrich themselves. The Strudleys are seeking damages to cover health monitoring and medical costs. “Gas drillers have got to be made to have safe drilling operations for the environment, for humans, for animal life,” said Marc Bern, one of their attorneys. “Individuals drilling in this area care about one thing: profits. Profits over safety.”

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