Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Fracking may contaminate drinking water

With shale deposits being discovered in Pennsylvania and a number of other states, oil companies will likely expand on what is called fracking as a means of reaching such oil and gas reserves. Unfortunately, such practices can result in contamination to drinking water for individuals living in the regions where fracking is being used.

Possibly due to fears about damage exposure companies will face in products liability disputes, a major insurance company will not cover risks due to these procedures for extracting oil and gas. This company issued a statement expressing concerns that potential dangers "are too great to ignore" wherever fracking is being conducted.

Fracking has already been associated with a number of incidents where contamination of water has occurred. One company ended up settling a lawsuit in the amount of $4.1 million where explosive levels of methane seeped into an aquifer where drinking water was contained. And because there is so much controversy already surrounding fracking procedures, it's quite possible that many more similar settlements and large jury verdicts will occur.

Unfortunately, businesses conducting such practices are often multi-million dollar corporations, and individuals injured as a result of such practices are often intimidated to bring lawsuits against such companies. It's for this reason that attorneys knowledgeable of products liability litigation and accustomed to bringing lawsuits against large companies should be consulted by individuals that feel they have been injured.

Companies do have a duty to keep communities where business is conducted safe. Such businesses cannot be allowed to place profits before the welfare of the community.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "US insurer won't cover gas drill fracking exposure," July 12, 2012

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