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.”