Strudleys to appeal judge’s dismissal of Antero lawsuit
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Strudley family said on Tuesday that they will appeal a recent decision by a Denver District Court judge, throwing out the family’s lawsuit against the Antero Resources gas drilling company.
“I’m extremely positive about it,” said Bill Strudley about the appeal, expressing confidence that his team of attorneys will win a reversal of the decision by Judge Ann Frick and the lawsuit will continue.
Speaking from his home, Strudley said he feels the appeal is important.
“Otherwise, it’s like these gas and oil companies have a license to do a piece of murder on families and children,” he declared.
The Strudleys sued Antero in 2011, claiming that the company’s drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities in their neighborhood ruined their health and that of their two teenage sons.
Fumes and fluids from nearby exploratory wells, they claimed, contaminated their domestic water well and the air around their home with toxic chemicals, causing burning eyes and throats, rashes, nosebleeds, headaches and other symptoms.
The family had lived on Silt Mesa for four years before Antero started drilling in 2010, and by December Beth Strudley told the Post Independent that her two sons had begun showing multiple symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals.
The family ultimately moved out of their home and relocated to a different part of Garfield County. Beth Strudley said recently that her family’s health problems had faded but added that she feels their immune systems were compromised by exposure to chemicals associated with oil and gas drilling.
Antero, however, consistently denied that its activities had anything to do with the family’s health problems, a position supported by tests of the family’s domestic water well by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC).
The COGCC oversees drilling activity throughout the state, and concluded that the family’s water had not been contaminated by Antero’s activities.
The judge on May 9 seemingly agreed, ruling that the Strudleys had failed to convince her that their case had sufficient merit to warrant further court action.
Attorney Corey Zurbuch, of the Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein law firm of Boulder, is representing the Strudleys and said on Tuesday, “We’re definitely going to appeal, and we feel good about our chances of success.”
Also working on the case is the law firm of Napoli Bern Ripka of New York, which recently won a roughly $800 million settlement for thousands of police, fire and other emergency workers who were sickened when they responded to the 9/11 attacks in New York City in 2001.
Zurbuch said that, under Colorado law, a notice of appeal must be filed within 45 days of the judge’s decision.
“We will likely move much faster than that,” he said. “We want to move this along as quickly as possible.”
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