3 Oil Companies Settle in Class-Action Suit over Oklahoma Earthquakes

December 4, 2018

Three oil companies have reached a settlement with plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over damaging earthquakes in central Oklahoma.

The companies — Spess Oil Co., Equal Energy US Inc. and Fairfield Oil and Gas Corp. — have not admitted to any liability but have agreed to put $925,000 into a settlement fund. The lawsuit argues that saltwater disposal well operations led to 2011 earthquakes near the Oklahoma town of Prague, including a magnitude 5.7 quake that affected more than 170 homes.

Jennifer Lin Cooper of Prague originally filed the suit in February 2015 against Tulsa-based New Dominion LLC and Spess Oil Co. of Cleveland, Okla., along with 25 unnamed companies. Cooper sought class-action status for people in Lincoln County and eight surrounding counties whose homes were damaged by earthquakes.

Attorneys say the fund is subject to court approval and a January hearing is scheduled to consider approval of the settlement.

Another defendant, New Dominion LLC, is not included in the agreement. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Scott Poynter, says the company is pursuing an appeal before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.

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