Friday, September 23, 2011

Sue Thy Neighbor?

Living on the Barnett Shale, it is common to blame the gas drilling company. In fact, many residents have gone as far as suing gas companies. But suing your neighbor for signing a lease and allowing industrial activity that results in air pollution, health issues, noise, and lower property values?
Click here to read an interesting article about it.

One line in this article didn't surprise us at all.....
states like Texas and West Virginia don't favor such lawsuits

We do know that gas drilling activity does effect health and the air we breathe, that has been well documented in the local news, on this site and many others in the area. 

We have reported on gas drilling and property values in the past.
Click here and here.
It is a very good question. Should those that sign leases be held accountable when there is a problem like a leak, a spill, a fire, people getting sick or loss of property values?


Anonymous said...

It may be wise for people who live along bore paths to get a structural engineering study performed before franking. Same thing that people who have water wells getting their water baseline tested before drilling occurs.

Since insurance will not pay for foundation damage, it would money well spent by a homeowner to do an evaluation before and after fracking (with explosives I might add.) Neighbors should do this collectively, so if damage does occur to their foundations because of fracking, they can have legal recourse to sue the operator.

We all have to remember that fracking in urban areas has only occurred in the last 5-6 years.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the language in the leases where, if you signed, you get to defend the gas company against all claims and actions.

Anonymous said...

For those considering signing or renewing a gas lease, you can add protections into the language. If a land man will not allow you to protect your possessions or property, that should be a red flag.

Also, it is wise to not allow an indefinite term on a lease. Specify that you want a lease expiration, whether production occurs or not. E.g. 12-month term. You may have a change of heart when damages do occur.

Anonymous said...

At Anon 10:12 a.m.

Do people who have 10,000 square lots get so dazzled by minuscule signing bonus and even much less royalty payout that they waive their private property rights?

America really has become dumbed down.

Nuisance Legal Definition said...


In tort law, a type of wrong. A wrong arising from the unreasonable, improper, indecent, or unlawful use of property to the annoyance or damage of another, or the general public.

A private nuisance is an interference with a person's interest in the use and enjoyment of his land.

A public nuisance is an interference with the common right of the general public or an indefinite number of persons; an unreasonable interference with the health, safety, peace, or comfort of the community.

Anonymous said...

Did Dick Cheney exempt oil and gas from any nuisance law?

Anonymous said...

No, but the TX legislature is trying to!

Anonymous said...

In researching and battling against SB875, I was reassured several times that this law would have no impact on an individual's right to sue over air emissions; it would only a hamper a municipalities right to collect the fines they levy over same IF the business is emitting only a "greenhouse gas" AND is found to be in "substantial compliance".

Anonymous said...

A lot of food for thought and very good comments. Thanks, FMCAUD for bringing this to our attention.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon September 28, 2011 10:51 AM

So cities cannot fine for methane emissions then?

Anonymous said...

Methane--20x stronger than CO2.

Anonymous said...

I hope many FM residents attended the EPA's public hearing on their win/win plan to minimize emissions today, but since so many of us work or have childcare issues I suspect not many did, but I'd love to hear from someone who did. I was committed to go but it just couldn't happen.
So, I contacted the EPA and got these email addresses:;

I wrote an email and asked to be able to register my support for their plan and asked that my dh and I be added as attendance by email.

I asked that existing wells be included and that the plan be expedited.

I also made note of our absence of air monitors at a new site that's been fracking/drilling for the last 2 weeks without any monitors in the area. :-(

I also asked that they address the contamination issues surrounding the abandonment and plugging of these horizontally drilled wells, next.

NOW, I hope that many of you will do the same thing ASAP