Judge grants stays in Oklahoma earthquake lawsuits
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma residents who are suing oil and gas producers for earthquake damage to their homes and businesses must now wait for a federal judge’s decision in another case.
Judge Phillip Corley granted a stay with a provision for monitoring until Sept. 6 in the cases involving White Star Petroleum LLC, New Dominion LLC and plaintiffs from Payne and Logan counties, the Stillwater News Press reported .
Attorneys from both companies requested stays until a decision is made about certifying those who are suing in a federal class action case. The attorneys say their clients are spending large amounts of money to make appearances in multiple courts and hope to avoid inconsistent rulings.
The Oklahoma residents’ attorneys argued that the cases shouldn’t be delayed because their clients deserve to be remedied without delay. The federal case has been in the pleading phase for two years and may take another 18 months before a decision is reached, said Scott Poynter, an attorney for the plaintiffs. Some of his clients suffered their damages in November 2016 and need to have their properties inspected sooner rather than later, he said.
Corley said he’ll review the cases in September and may decide to reinstate them if the federal case hasn’t progressed.
If the federal class action case is certified, it would include all property owners in Oklahoma.
Information from: Stillwater News Press, http://www.stwnewspress.com