Weitz & Luxenberg’s efforts to help residents and business owners in Oklahoma affected by human-made earthquakes took an important step forward recently when a judge in state court granted class-action status to the plaintiff on May 18, 2018. The ruling by Oklahoma District Judge Lori Walkley means that the case has overcome a significant hurdle and will proceed to trial.
“This ruling validates our assessment that the best way to handle this litigation is as a class action, and we are glad that it can continue as such, which is the most effective and efficient manner to manage and adjudicate these claims,” said W&L associate attorney Curt Marshall, who is handling the litigation. “We look forward to bringing this matter to trial and helping residents obtain the compensation they need and deserve for the damage caused by these human-made earthquakes.”
Weitz & Luxenberg is part of the legal team that has filed state class action lawsuits against Oklahoma oil and gas companies New Dominion, Spess Oil Company and others over property damage caused by human-made earthquakes in the area.
Recent government and scientific studies have discovered a link between earthquakes in the region and high volume injection of wastewater deep into the ground. The lawsuit in which the class certification ruling occurred alleges that the wastewater disposal operations by the oil and gas defendants impacted the frequency and severity of these earthquakes, including a 5.7 temblor in November 2011 that was the strongest in state history at that time.
The ruling determined that property owners in nine Oklahoma counties are eligible to have their claims adjudicated on a class-wide basis. The trial is scheduled to begin on September 10.