Judge won’t let church expand its lawsuit against oil and gas firms in Bristow

 

A Tulsa federal judge has ruled against a request by the Bristow First Assembly of God in its efforts to extend the number of defendants and deadlines in its lawsuit over a Superfund site that forced the church to move nearly six years ago.

U.S. District Judge Terence C. Kern ruled against the church citing “undue delay by the Plaintiffs, undue prejudice to defendants and bad faith’dilatory motive.”

The suit was filed against Marathon Oil Corporation, Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Kinder Morgan, blaming them for the pollution and environmental concerns from the former Wilcox refinery that ended operations 80 years at the site where the church was eventually located.

In his ruling, Judge Kern stated that “expanding this case to add new theories of liability, 11 new defendants and an entirely separate historical refinery site would amount to a “do-over” and would result in undue prejudice to Kinder Morgan, BP and Marathon.”

 

The lawsuit was filed after the church pastor, Mark S. Evans, his wife and their  two children were forced to move from the property after the Department of Environmental Quality warned them that living at the site “could jeopardize their health and safety.”

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