2 Dimock Families Suing Cabot O&G Settle Out of Court

Some big news that both Cabot Oil & Gas and the two families suing them seem to want to keep quiet: they’ve settled out of court. Brief background for those new to MDN and to the “Dimock” story: There were 14 families along the Carter Road area of Dimock Township, PA (Susquehanna County) that reportedly experienced turbidity in their water from methane migrating, supposedly from Cabot’s drilling operations nearby. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigated in 2010 and declared Cabot guilty and imposed stiff fines and requirements, including a requirement to install permanent water treatment systems at each home and even an offer to each of the families to pay twice what their property was worth at the time (see PA DEP Takes Aggressive Action Against Cabot Oil & Gas over Dimock Township Methane Contamination). We won’t recount all of the twists and turns we documented over the years, including research that showed Cabot wasn’t responsible for the methane migration. All of the 14 properties either sold to Cabot or got their water systems repaired–except for two holdout families who were riding the horse of hope that they could sue Cabot for big money and retire millionaires. For a time, it appeared their plan worked. Last year, in March 2016, a trial took place in Scranton. It was a sham trial, with the lawyer for the two families engaging in borderline unethical practices in the courtroom in her attempt to influence the jury. One of the two families admitted, under oath on the witness stand, that their water had too much methane in it BEFORE Cabot Oil & Gas began to drill nearby. The same family, the Elys, later built a 22-room, $1 million mansion on the same property AFTER they admit there was trouble with the water. And yet the jury found Cabot at fault and awarded the Elys $2.75 million. The other family suing Cabot got $1.49 million (see Dimock Jury Levies $4.24M Judgement Against Cabot in Dimock Case). The verdict was obviously brain dead and a federal court judge threw the verdict and judgement out, saying a brand new trial would have to take place (see Fed Court Overturns $4.2M Dimock Judgement Against Cabot O&G). There will now be no new trial. Last week both sides settled the case “amicably”–whatever that means. We’ll tell you what it means. It means Cabot paid big bucks to make it all go away–although they won’t admit it…

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