$3 Million Award in Drilling Suit Sparks Legal Worries

Three years after a North Texas family alleged that a drilling company’s activities near their home were responsible for chronic headaches, nose-bleeding, wheezing and other ailments, a jury last week awarded them $3 million in damages.

The decision, which still must be approved by a Dallas County civil court judge, is relatively unique and potentially significant. It suggests that even when oil and gas operators are technically following state and federal environmental rules, they could still be liable for being what state law calls a “nuisance.” Lawyers for the plaintiffs, Wise County residents Bob and Lisa Parr, say the ...

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