A six-person Texas jury may have changed the future of fracking with their ground-breaking decision. A $2.95 million verdict was delivered in favor of the Parrs', a small ranching family, against a big natural gas company whose drilling caused years of sickness, killed pets, created abnormalities in livestock and forced the family out of their home for months.
Aruba Petroleum said it plans to appeal the verdict, stating they had done nothing wrong and had operated within safe and legal guidelines. Their statement contends that the "plaintiffs were neither harmed by the presence of our drilling operations nor was the value of their property diminished because of our natural gas development."
Opponents of fracking have vehemently warned of the dangers to people who live close to wells through contaminated water or polluted air. The Parrs lived within 2 miles of 20 active fracking wells. Each family member experienced different symptoms from nose bleeds, migraines, fever, rash, stomach problems, and dizziness to memory loss. Doctors were unable to pinpoint a reason until they had the air tested revealing toxic chemicals found in petroleum products. With the jury verdict against fracking companies, the laws may be reevaluated as activists have long awaited.
With their future health weighing heavily on them, the progression of their complications are unknown and may not show up for decades, the Parrs have put their ranch up for sale. Though the closest wells are no longer operational, they have no interested buyers.
Written by James P. Nevin