Unsealed Settlement Shows A Shale Driller Paid Family $750,000 Over Health Claims

shale fracking

Range Resources paid a Pennsylvania family $750,000 over claims their livelihood was damaged by the company’s shale gas drilling, 

the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paula Reed Ward reports.The figure was revealed after a judge ordered the terms of the settlement unsealed yesterday.

The Post-Gazette and the Washington Observer-Reporter had filed suit to have the settlement opened, although Reed Ward has so far only obtained a summary of it.  

A 2010 National Geographic story by Marianne Lavelle said Stephanie and Chris Hallowich and their children “[suffered] burning eyes, sore throats and other symptoms when gas was released several times” after drilling equipment malfunctioned.

Range’s wells also disturbed their property, Lavelle reported: 

“It’s ruined our lives. That’s what it comes down to,”  Chris Hallowich told Lavelle. “It’s ruined our plans that we had for the kids. It’s ruined what we thought was our perfect 10 acres.”

The family initiated a case against Range Resources, MarkWest Energy Partners and Williams Gas/Laurel Mountain Midstream Partners on May 27, 2010, according to the Post-Gazette. The dispute was settled by the parties in July 2011.  

Range has 30 days to appeal the judge’s decision unsealing the settlement. But the company issued a statement yesterday saying they “do not have concerns” and “greatly respect” the decision, according to Reed Ward.

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