A New York City law firm today will hold a press conference on the West Steps of the Colorado State Capitol building in Denver to announce a lawsuit against a Denver-based natural gas drilling company for the alleged contamination of a Silt family’s property “leading to their forced exile from their home and serious health effects.”
Napoli Bern Ripka & Associates, a New York City firm that negotiated huge settlements for workers sickened during the Ground Zero cleanup, sent out a release Wednesday announcing the unusual 11 a.m. press conference in conjunction with the Aspen-based law firm of Thomas Genshaft.
The firms are filing a complaint against Denver-based Antero Resources and several of its contractors after holding meetings with residents of the Garfield County towns of Silt and Battlement Mesa to explore possible mass tort lawsuits stemming from the impacts of natural gas drilling in the second-most drilled county in the state.
The complaint being filed today is in the name of one Silt family not identified in the press release. However, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports it’s on behalf of Bill and Beth Strudley of Silt Mesa, who claim one of their sons was seriously sickened after Antero drilled an exploratory well about a half mile from their home in September of last year.
According to the newspaper, “the family reported that one of their sons grew seriously ill in the late summer of 2010, developing rashes, nosebleeds and blackouts that he had never experienced before the drilling started.”
“Our law firms are continuing to research communities statewide and are dedicated to protecting and improving water quality, air quality and property values for their families, including livestock, and allowing them to maintain their way of life as they are entitled,” Peter W. Thomas of Thomas Genshaft said in the release.
The release mentions recent media coverage of water and air contamination issues and ongoing efforts by Democratic Colorado Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette to increase federal oversight of natural gas drilling practices.