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State Supreme Court decision seen as a victory for earthquake victims

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 Cinnamon    14,577

An Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling on a case stemming from the 2011 Prague earthquake is important not so much for what the justices concluded, as what they didn’t, observers say.

In essence, the court said claims alleging damages from high-pressure disposal wells — and, by extension, other oil- and gas-related activity — must be decided by the court system, not the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Letting the Corporation Commission rule on such cases, some believe, would essentially give oil and gas companies a home-field advantage in a process that already figures to be an uphill climb for the plaintiffs.

Instead, Tuesday’s ruling, which reversed a lower court decision, permits a pair of lawsuits to go forward in Lincoln County District Court.

Sandra Ladra of Prague is suing New Dominion LLC of Tulsa and Spess Oil Co. of Cleveland, Oklahoma, claiming that their high-pressure disposal wells are responsible for the Nov. 5, 2011, earthquake during which she was injured.



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