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Oil companies hoping to stifle Texas air pollution lawsuit

John Deede | Shale Plays Media Google+

Oil and gas companies are asking to dismiss a lawsuit suing for health damages suffered by living near the oilfields in the Eagle Ford Shale. The lawsuit follows a recent lawsuit that awarded $2.9 million in damages to the Parr family. David Hasemyer from InsideClimate News reports:

The lawsuit was filed last year by Mike and Myra Cerny, who say they can’t enjoy the use of their home because of the benzene, toluene and other toxic chemicals released from nearby facilities owned by Marathon and Plains Exploration & Production (PXP). The Cernys are using the same argument that helped another Texas family, Bob and and Lisa Parr, win a groundbreaking, $2.9 million judgment against Aruba Petroleum last April: That the emissions created a nuisance that made their lives unbearable.

Air emissions are increasingly recognized as a problem in drilling areas throughout United States, with residents complaining of coughing, headaches, nosebleeds, rashes and dizziness. But lawsuits linking gas and oil production to health problems have been considered almost unwinnable, because few scientific studies have been done on how the industry’s emissions might affect human health.

Jane Barrett, director of the University of Maryland’s Environmental Law Clinic, said that if the Parrs and Cerneys succeed, their cases could change the assumption that ordinary people can’t stand up to the industry.

Read the full article here: Fracking Companies Fight Texas Families’ Air Pollution Suits, Fearing Precedent

Related: Jury awards Texas family nearly $3 million in fracking case

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