Thursday, November 12, 2009

Law firm trolling for Marcellus water cases

Can the use of 'fracking' to extract natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania pollute private wells?

A Texas-based law firm thinks it can and it's actively searching for affected property owners to represent in law suits against drilling companies.

The Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm in Southlake, TX is using its website to spread the word about George Zimmermann, the owner of 480 acres in Washington County, southwest Pennsylvania, who claims that Atlas Energy Inc. ruined his land with toxic chemicals used in or released there by hydraulic fracturing, also known as 'fracking.'

The law firm's web site reports:

"Water tests at three locations by gas wells on Zimmermann's property --one is 1,500 feet from his home -- found seven potentially carcinogenic chemicals above "screening levels" set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

"The gas is being extracted by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is forced a mile or more underground at high pressure, fracturing the shale and causing the release of natural gas.

"In June, water tests found arsenic at 2,600 times acceptable levels, benzene at 44 times above limits and naphthalene five times the federal standard. Soil samples detected mercury and selenium above official limits, as well as ethylbenzene, a chemical used in drilling, and trichloroethene, a naturally occurring but toxic chemical that can be brought to the surface by gas drilling.

"Zimmermann's suit, filed in September in the Washington County Court of Common Pleas, follows claims by residents in many gas-drilling areas of the United States that fracking pollutes private water wells with toxic chemicals and threatens widespread contamination of aquifers from which many rural households draw drinking water."

Should anyone miss the point of the reportorial exercise, the law firm ends with the following paragraph:

"If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Dallas Fort Worth Texas Toxic Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online."
For a more robust, and perhaps less self-interested report on Mr. Zimmerman's case, we recommend the Reuters news story Pennsylvania lawsuit says drilling polluted water

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