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Enfield v. Atlantic Richfield Co.

ELR Citation: 22 ELR 21525
Nos. Nos. CIV-88-932-A et al., 790 F. Supp. 1080/(W.D. Okla., 10/17/1989)

The court holds that landowners' complaint, which alleges that they were required to hire experts to test, evaluate, and develop a cleanup plan for pollution on their property caused by an oil company, states a claim for mitigation damages, not an impermissible claim for litigation damages. The court finds that the landowners have the right to institute their cleanup plan, which requires the assistance of experts, to curtail further and continuous damage to the land. The expenses for retaining experts occurred through no fault of the injured landowners and regardless of whether this lawsuit was filed, and therefore are mitigation damages, not litigation damages. Thus, the landowners have the right to recover the expenses of retaining experts and developing a cleanup plan to abate a nuisance on their land. These are damages flowing directly from the injury itself, whether plead in contract or tort.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Randall J. Wood, Monte E. Johnson
Stack & Barnes
701 N.W. 63rd St., Ste. 500, Oklahoma City OK 73116
(405) 843-0363

Counsel for Defendants
A.P. Murrah, Cleta D. Mitchell
Murrah & Davis
One Leadership Sq., 12th Fl., Oklahoma City OK 73102
(405) 235-1681

J. Randall Miller
Moyers, Martin, Santee, Imel & Tetrick
320 S. Boston Bldg., Ste. 920, Tulsa OK 74103
(918) 582-5281