New judge in fatal-shooting case Oklahoma ex-reserve deputy

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Companies Asking Oklahoma Judge to Toss Earthquake Lawsuit.

Two energy companies are asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit by an Oklahoma woman who claims she was injured in an earthquake caused by the injection of wastewater deep into the ground — a method used for decades by the industry to dispose of the chemical-laced byproduct of oil and gas production. TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A third judge has been assigned to the case of a former Oklahoma volunteer deputy charged with second-degree manslaughter after he fatally shot an unarmed man. The lawsuit by Prague resident Sandra Ladra alleges the companies are liable because they operated the wastewater disposal wells that triggered the largest earthquake in state history, a 5.6-magnitude temblor that hit in 2011. Court records show the case involving former Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy Robert Bates was transferred to District Judge Bill Musseman.

Ladra, who claims the quake crumbled her two-story fireplace and caused rocks to fall on her legs and gash her knee, is among others who have similar lawsuits pending across the country. No specific reason was listed for the transfer, and the one-page order only lists a section of the judicial code that cites many reasons why a judge can step down. Ladra’s case was given new life in June when the Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision by Ashwood to dismiss the suit, ruling then that the court didn’t have jurisdiction in the matter. Geological Survey traced wastewater injection methods to the 1920s in Oklahoma and tied the rise in quakes in the past 100 years to industrial activities, such as oil and natural gas production.

This would make that look like a comedy,” Hatfield said. “That would be a self-inflicted wound of tremendous magnitude for the state, and oil companies will say, ‘We’re not going to drill in Oklahoma.’

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