Judge Throws out $4 million Fracking Contamination Verdict

After winning a more than $4 million verdict in a fight over water pollution allegedly caused by natural gas fracking in Pennsylvania, two families find themselves with nothing but a new trial.

A Pennsylvania federal judge has thrown out the $4.24 million verdict against Houston-based Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the largest natural gas producers in the state.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson set aside the verdict reached a year ago by a judge in Scranton, saying the plaintiffs, two families in Dimock County,  presented no evidence to justify such a multi-million dollar award. He also ordered a new trial.

The case had been highly publicized as the families claimed methane gas contaminated their drinking water. Dozens of other plaintiffs had reached a settlement with Cabot in 2012 but the remaining two families took their case to trial.

The fight in the rural community was featured in the Emmy-winning 2010 documentary “Gasland.”

 

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