In what has been described as the first U.S. fracking verdict, a family from North Texas was awarded close to $3 million in damages after a jury found that their air and water had been contaminated by an oil and gas company. Bob and Lisa Parr, who lived on the Barnett Shale, claimed that the 22 fracking sites near their home made them sick. The wells were operated by Plano, Texas-based Aruba Petroleum Inc.
The family filed a lawsuit in 2011, asking to be compensated for their ordeal. The Parrs alleged that fracking operations were responsible for a number of adverse health effects they experienced, including rashes, nausea and exhaustion, while their seven-year-old daughter often had nosebleeds.
The compensation sum includes $275,000 to make up for their lost property and $2 million for their pain and suffering. In addition, the jury awarded $250,000 for future physical pain and suffering and a further $400,000 for the mental suffering they went through. Aruba Petroleum is expected to appeal the ruling, media reports say.