Texas couple wins lawsuit against drillers, 5 more gas wells drilled after they filed lawsuit; Encana drilled 6 more gas wells near Ernst’s contaminated water well after she filed lawsuit, 5 frac’d above Base of Groundwater Protection

Couple wins suit against drillers by Christin Coyne, June 28, 2014, Weatherford Democrat
A Parker County jury last week awarded $36,000 to an Aledo-area couple, who sued an oil and gas operator for nuisance conditions caused by drilling activity near their home. Titan Operating drilled six wells at a pad site within 200 feet of the home of Marcus Marsden Jr. and Laura Marsden, causing a nuisance to the couple from noises, lights and odors from the the drilling activity, according to attorney Kirk Claunch, who represented the couple.  “They were very happy that the jury listened to them and, certainly, they were pleased with the verdict,” Claunch said.

Additional drilling continued on the quiet, dead-end country road even after the Marsdens filed suit in district court in June of 2011. One gas well was drilled at the pad site in July 2009, two more around September 2011 and three more between December 2012 and January 2013, Claunch said.

In addition to hearing testimony from the couple, jurors heard testimony from a neighbor, watched videotaped evidence of the drilling and fracking and visited the site and the Marsdens’ home. “I think it went a long way for the jury to see and understand what was happening, at least understand the way it is now,” Claunch said of the trip jurors made. There is still a compressor at the pad site and trucks coming and going, though the jury did not award damages for that part of the case.

Ten members of the 12-person jury found that the oil and gas operator’s conduct was abnormal and out of place with the surroundings, causing a temporary nuisance, according to court documents.

Jurors awarded $18,000 to each of the two for the loss of use and enjoyment of their property,
Claunch said. [Emphasis added]

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