Rancher Sues Fracking Operators


A rancher in Perrin, Texas sues several fracking operators after a serious explosion on his property left him permanently disfigured and disabled.  

Related: Karnes County Explosion Proves Costly

Cody Murray, a 38-year-old husband and father, sustained extensive burns when a giant fireball erupted from the pump house on his property in early August. Murray’s father, wife and four year old daughter also sustained injuries.

Court records claim that the explosion was caused by methane gas that leaked into the well from nearby fracking operations run by EOG Resources, Fairway Resources LLC and three Fairway subsidiaries.

Rigorous scientific testing, including isotope testing, has conclusively demonstrated that the high-level methane contamination of the Murrays’ water well resulted from natural gas drilling and extraction activities. The high levels of methane in the Murrays’ well were not ‘naturally occurring.

Shale gas is composed of 90 percent methane. The colorless, odorless and tasteless gas is very explosive and has been in the center of the debate over natural gas drilling. A peer-reviewed study out of Duke University found that methane levels in private water wells averaged 17 times higher in wells that are within 1,000 feet of a natural gas drilling site.

Cody also suffered significant neurological damage in the fire, as well as paresthesias and extreme weakness in his hands and arms. In the lawsuit filed last week, the Murrays are seeking damages for negligence, trespass, nuisance, lost wages, physical impairment, pain and suffering, continuing medical care, disfigurement and loss of consortium. 

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