UPDATE: Oklahoma Earthquake Cases
There are now several man-made earthquake cases on file around Oklahoma. Our firm filed the first case almost two years ago in Lincoln County District Court.
That action was filed on behalf of Sandra Ladra who suffered large cuts, bruises and other injuries to her legs during the Prague quakes of November 2011. It appears that she will need knee replacement surgery.
Her case gained national attention after the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned the District Court's dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction.
With that Supreme Court opinion, our firm secured the right to a jury for every Oklahoman seeking damages due to an earthquake caused by the oil and gas industry's wastewater disposal operations.
New Dominion and Spess Oil Company tried again to have Ms. Ladra's dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. But that motion failed. The case is now progressing in discovery.
Additionally, our firm represents Jennifer Cooper in Lincoln County District Court. This case is a class action case designed to recover damages due to November of 2011 earthquakes around Prague, Oklahoma. The largest quake was of 5.6 m, and is the largest quake in Oklahoma's history. This class action is also in the middle of the discovery process.
In addition to the Ladra and Cooper cases on file in Lincoln County, the firm also represents the Sierra Club in a federal lawsuit brought under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act. This action was brought to remedy the increased dangers these man-made earthquakes pose through creation of wastewater injection moratorium areas over active fault lines, and the regulation of pressures and volumes of injection in the seismically active areas of Oklahoma.
Sierra Club v. Chesapeake, et al. is on file in the Western District of Oklahoma and assigned to the Honorable Judge Stephen Friot.
Defendants Devon, New Dominion and Chesapeake have moved to dismiss the action saying the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is regulating their activities, and Judge Friot does not need to be involved. Our position is that the federal environmental law provides that the federal court is to be instrumental in remedying violations of the federal statute. The motions to dismiss are fully briefed and being considered by Judge Friot.
Griggs v. Chesapeake, et al., is another class action case for damages caused by man-made earthquakes. The Griggs class case is different from the Cooper class action because it was brought to remedy damages caused by all of the oil and gas industries' earthquakes across the state of Oklahoma, and not just those in and around Prague in November of 2011 (which is at issue in the Cooper case).
The Griggs case is now before Judge Friot in the Western District of Oklahoma, but it was originally filed in state court in Logan County. Judge Friot has to determine whether or not his Court has jurisdiction, and if not, he will remand the action back to Logan County District Court. The briefs have all been filed and we are waiting his opinion.
Please subscribe to this blog for further updates. Also, you may visit www.stopthequakes.com to read all of the substantive motions and orders in these cases.