Two Ohio couples have filed a lawsuit against Landmark 4 LLC blaming the company’s poor hydraulic fracturing (fracking) well construction for putting them at greater risk of health problems related to drilling-related contamination they’re suffering on their property.
According to a report from The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the couples based in Medina County, Ohio, allege their living about a half-mile from active fracking wells owned and operated by Landmark 4 has put them at greater risk of health problems. They say that poor well construction – namely due to an insufficient cement casing around the vital underground pipeline extending from a well pad to a bed of underground shale – has allowed some of the most toxic and dangerous agents used or produced during the fracking process have escaped that pipeline and poisoned shallow aquifers which feed private water wells.
Mark and Sandra Mangan and William and Stephanie Boggs have hired a Cleveland-based attorney, John Climaco, who has enlisted the help of the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, based in New York, which represents more than a dozen families in Pennsylvania in their fight against fracking-related contamination.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Mangans and Boggses seeks proper medical coverage for the families, not limited to vigilant testing that will monitor their exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals used in the fracking process or those which have penetrated their private home water wells. The families also believe that nearby fracking operations have greatly impacted their property value and that they “live in constant fear of future illness.”
In the complaints filed in an Ohio state court, the families contend the poor well construction by Landmark 4 was done in the interest of profits, not public safety. Using an inferior well casing on its fracking operations enabled the company to save millions of dollars in costs but likely caused untold damages to the local environment beyond the immediate scope of the lawsuits.
The families are citing a study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry – a division of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – which blamed the contamination of their water wells, specifically, on Landmark 4’s nearby fracking operations. This study went against a similar assessment conducted by Ohio’s Dept. of Natural Resources.
These lawsuits against Landmark 4 use an argument we reported on earlier this week and is one the fracking industry has almost freely admitted was likely the cause of some contamination complaints … poorly constructed wells.
The lawsuit seeks “court-established medical monitoring” programs for the families affected by the toxic nature of the fracking operations in question. It would require the court to supervise the monitoring program and completely funded by Landmark 4.