In an article yesterday for Law360, Member and Chair of the Environmental Group T.H. Lyda was one of several lawyers to weigh in on the likelihood of copycat cases emerging due to a recent federal jury’s award of $4.24 million to two families alleging that natural gas drilling contaminated their water supply in Dimock Township, Pa. Dimock was one of the communities featured in Oscar-nominated “Gasland,” a 2010 documentary that aimed to expose possible hazards of domestic natural gas drilling.
“There is always a concern from a defense standpoint that an adverse verdict could lead to ‘blood in the water’ and attract new claims. Alternatively, settling cases and not vigorously defending them when the scientific evidence is in the company’s favor can have the same result,” he said. “Some juries have a hard time processing scientific testimony when a sympathetic plaintiff is pursuing a claim against a large company that has suffered many setbacks in the media and the problems in the area have been widely reported on.”