Judge ruling deals blow to PA fracking water contamination case

A court case centering on two Dimock, Pennsylvania families accusation that their groundwater was contaminated by fracking took a surprising twist in federal court on Friday. The Hill reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson threw out a $4.2 million jury verdict against Cabot Oil & Gas Co. Simultaneously, the judge ordered both sides to try to reach a settlement or hold a new trial.

The green movement has been overtly hostile to the drilling method. The mainstream media helps further their lies about the effects of using hydraulic fracturing so as to give momentum to ballot initiatives and the passage of state and local laws banning its use based on their pseudo-scientific claims.

Judge Martin Carlson wrote that the evidence presented at last year’s jury trial by a pair of families in Dimock, Pa., “was spare, sometimes contradictory, frequently rebutted by other scientific expert testimony, and relied in some measure upon tenuous inferences.”

He said there were multiple “weaknesses” in the case, along with “serious and troubling irregularities in the testimony and presentation of the plaintiffs’ case — including repeated and regrettable missteps by counsel in the jury’s presence,” necessitating that Carlson vacate the jury award against Cabot Oil and Gas Co….

“We do not take this step lightly, and we recognize the significance of voiding the judgment of a panel of jurors who sat through nearly three weeks of trial and reached a unanimous verdict,” he wrote.

The ruling is a huge setback not just for the families but also for environmentalists and that is a good thing. If the jury verdict was allowed to stand, it would have given momentum to the environmentalist’s arguments against fracking since they would have used the verdict as proof fracking poisons ground water. The result would have been even more widespread efforts to outlaw or restrict it.

The movie FrackNation looked at the claims of one Dimock, Pennsylvania family, the Sautners. In the below video segment, both the Pennsylvania and the federal EPA determined the couple’s water was not contaminated. The Sautners sold their property to a subsidiary of Cabot Oil and Gas Corp and moved out of the state in 2012.