Texas Jury Awards $2.95 Million To Texas Homeowners

UnknownA jury in a Texas hydraulic fracturing case rendered a $2.95 million verdict to homeowners who claimed that an energy company’s fracking activities contaminated their drinking water.   Essentially, the 6 member jury, voting 5-1, found that the energy company’s activities were “intentional” thereby creating a “private nuisance” under Texas law.

The nuisance claim was the only count on the verdict form.  The original Complaint asserted numerous other claims against the defendant.   According to the Verdict Form, $275,000 of the total verdict related to claimed lost market value of plaintiff’s property, while the remaining damages were allocated to pain and suffering-related damages.  Finally, the jury rejected any exemplary damages due to a lack of evidence supporting malice.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys were quick to claim that the case is “the first fracking verdict in U.S.history.”   Defendant’s spokesperson responded: “The facts of the case and the law as applied to those facts do not support the verdict.”

Reportedly, the defendant is now filing post-verdiction motions and is considering an appeal.

 

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