Ground Zero Law Firm Sues Over Colorado Drilling

Ground Zero Law Firm Sues Over Colorado Drilling by David Frey, March 3, 2011, New West
The law firm Napoli Bern Ripka & Associates, along with the Aspen firm Thomas Genshaft, filed its first Western Slope lawsuit on Thursday, and attorneys say more will likely be forthcoming, including a possible class-action lawsuit. … “Hopefully we can level the playing field a little when it comes to these types of cases against these giant corporations,” he said. The attorneys filed the first lawsuit on behalf of Bill and Beth Strudley and their two children. The family, which lives near the town of Silt, claimed drilling operations near their home by Denver-based Antero Resources made them sick through either air and water contamination. We talked to family after family that remarkably tell the same story,” Zurbuch said. … Antero has declined to comment, but it has previously denied their operations have harmed the family. Tests by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission found no indication of chemicals from the gas industry in their water well. “We think that those tests are bogus, to be very honest,” said Bern, who said independent testing found air and water contamination.

Federal regulations don’t require energy companies to disclose the chemicals they use in the process. “They operate in complete secrecy with regard to the chemicals they’re using and all we see are the effects,” Zurbuch said. “It’s very difficult to test for something when you don’t know what you’re testing for.” [Emphasis added]

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