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Weitz & Luxenberg recently won an important legal victory in its case against Oklahoma oil and gas companies whose wastewater disposal activities caused earthquakes which damaged buildings owned by the Pawnee Nation. The decision, which came down late last month, denied motions by the defendants to dismiss the case.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision and recognition that Pawnee Nation tribal court is the right venue for this case,” said Curt Marshall, who is leading the litigation. “Historic tribe buildings sustained serious damage as a result of these earthquakes, and we will continue to fight so that the tribe can receive the compensation it deserves.”
Weitz & Luxenberg filed a lawsuit in Pawnee Nation District Court in March 2017 against Eagle Road Oil LLC and Cummings Oil Company to recover compensation for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to Pawnee Nation buildings that was caused by the largest earthquake in Oklahoma history. The severity of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased in recent years as a result of wastewater injections associated with nearby fracking activities.
At an oral argument on October 27, 2017, defendants argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction and that the case should have been filed in Oklahoma state court. The judge’s decision means that the case will stay in tribal court and continue into the discovery phase.