A Wise County family filed a lawsuit in Dallas today against several companies involved in natural gas drilling, alleging that more than 50 drilling rigs operating around their home poisoned their blood, caused various ailments and forced them to move out.
Lisa and Bob Parr said they have suffered through a two-year nightmare due to the drilling activity around their 40-acre property in Allison, a farm community in eastern Wise County. More than 50 natural gas wells operate within two miles of the property, according to the suit.
The couple blames various spills and emissions of hazardous wastes and toxic gases for their health problems. The suit lists more than 20 symptoms the Parrs say they have experienced since 2008, including nose bleeds, migraines, open sores, arrhythmia, abdominal pain and coughing.
In April, an environmental health specialist conducted various tests on Lisa and Bob Parr and their daughter, Emma, and found “natural gas chemicals, compounds, and/or metals” in their bodies, according to the suit. That prompted the family to move out of their home. Brad Gilde, the couple’s lawyer, declined to identify the specialist.
Speaking at a press conference in Dallas, Bob Parr described the lawsuit as “a last resort.”
“I have no choice,” Bob Parr said. “I need to protect my family and my way of life.”
The suit was filed in Dallas County court against Aruba Petroleum of Plano, Ash Grove Resources of Topeka, KS, Encana Oil & Gas of Calgary, Halliburton of Houston, Republic Energy of Dallas, Ryder Scott Company of Houston, Ryder Scott Oil Company of Wichita Falls, Tejas Production Services of Victoria and Tejas Western Corp. of Granbury.
Ryder Scott Company, a Petroleum Consultant, said their presence in the lawsuit is a mistake, as the company has no ownership or business interest in the drilling operations around the Parr's home. Company spokesman Mike Wysatta said he believed the lawyers thought his company was still connected to Wichita Falls-based Ryder Scott Oil Company. The two companies have not had any connection for over 50 years, Wysatta said.
The Parr family said they don’t want to leave their home in Allison and relocate elsewhere.
“We were forced to move," Lisa Parr said, fighting to speak through tears. “This is our home. This is where we want to be.”
We've posted a copy of the initial filing here: