Friday, July 22, 2011

Class-Action Suit Filed Over Battlement Mesa Natural Gas Drilling

By Dennis Webb
Thursday, July 21, 2011

A New York City law firm that achieved a lawsuit settlement for more than $800 million for Ground Zero responders has proceeded with a class-action lawsuit against Antero Resources regarding natural gas development in the Battlement Mesa area.

Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik & Associates LLP and Aspen-based Thomas/Genshaft LLP filed the suit in Denver District Court Wednesday. It names as plaintiffs Battlement Mesa residents Garry and Bettie Evenson, Garland and Leola White, Joanne Mayo, and Sally Bedford, but says it is seeking class-action status for more than 1,000 property owners and 5,000 past and present residents of the community.

It contends that residents already have suffered health impacts from Antero’s gas development at a well pad near the community, and stand to endure further environmental effects and loss of property value because of the company’s plans to drill up to 200 wells within Battlement Mesa.

The suit seeks a jury trial and payment for loss of property value, health monitoring for residents, and other costs.

Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik negotiated the Ground Zero settlement on behalf of more than 10,000 emergency workers who were exposed to toxic dust when responding to the 2001 World Trade Center attack. It says it currently is representing people affected by natural gas development throughout the country.

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