Fracking lawsuits are spreading across the US. The first cases
were launched in Pennsylvania in 2009, claiming damages for
contamination of the aquifers on which the plaintiffs depend. Since
then, other cases have been launched by dozens of property owners
in Pennsylvania, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New York,
West Virginia etc.. Some lawfirms are actively soliciting potential
Most of the lawsuits assert that improper drilling, capping
and/or casing practices allowed toxic chemicals to escape into
their groundwater, causing loss in property value and expenses for
replacement water. Some also claim actual or potential health
damage from the polluted water. The contaminants complained of
include hydrogen sulfide, methane, hydrocarbons such as hexane,
toluene, propane and isobutene, and metals such as manganese,
barium and strontium.
One group of Dimock, Pennsylvania families received $4.1 M from
Cabot Oil & Gas, under a settlement reached
with the Pennsylvania regulator. A December 2010 agreement between
DEP and Cabot required the company to offer residential treatment
systems that remove methane from the residents' water, and to
pay them twice the assessed tax value of their homes. Recently,
Cabot was permitted to stop delivering bottled water to the
affected homes. The agreement does not make the company liable for
any chemicals or metals that have turned up in the residents'
water, nor does it require the company to treat the water for
anything other than methane. The residents are appealling the settlement,
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In Crombie Property Holdings Limited v McColl-Frontenac Inc. (Texaco Canada Limited), 2017 ONCA 15 (Crombie v McColl ), the Ontario Court of Appeal released an important decision regarding environmental due diligence in a real estate transaction, . . .
Last August, we reported on recent case law dealing with the difficult question of how to determine limitation periods in environmental claims. In the January 2017 Court of Appeal decision of Crombie Property Holdings Limited v. McColl-Frontenac Inc., the court overturned the trial court's decision that the case was started too late on the basis of "palpable and overriding errors".
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