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Aruba Petroleum, Inc. v. Parr

Citation: 47 ELR 20019
No. 05-14-01285-CV, (5th Cir., 02/01/2017)

The Fifth Circuit overturned a $3 million jury award for a nuisance claim against a petroleum company in which a family claimed natural gas extraction caused contamination of their property. The family alleged that the petroleum company's spills, releases, emissions, and discharges of air pollution exposed and continue to expose them and their property to hazardous chemicals, gases, and industrial and hazardous wastes, resulting in damages. A jury found that the petroleum company intentionally created a private nuisance, and awarded the family $2.65 million in damages and $275,000 for lost property market value. The appeals court concluded there was not sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that the petroleum company intentionally interfered with the family's property. The judgment was reversed and a take-nothing judgment was rendered in favor of the petroleum company.