Residents Explain Why They Settled in Cabot Lawsuit

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DIMOCK TOWNSHIP -- The issue of contaminated water is now the center of a civil lawsuit filed by two families in Susquehanna County against Cabot Oil and Gas.

Opening statements were heard Tuesday in that lawsuit being heard in federal court in Scranton.

The families suing Cabot talked with the media on Monday about what they claim is dirty, tainted water that they cannot drink from the taps.

They blame the contamination on Cabot's drilling for natural gas, but dozens of other people near Dimock decided not to be part of this lawsuit  and instead settled with Cabot.

Some of the people from Dimock Township who settled with Cabot Oil and Gas back in 2012 told us they did that simply because they couldn't fight the natural gas company anymore.

Ronald Carter and his wife Jean were among 44 Dimock Township residents who sued Cabot Oil and Gas in November of 2009 for allegedly contaminating their drinking water.

In 2012, they, along with most of the other residents, settled with the natural gas company. The two remaining families who did not settle are now fighting in federal court.

Why did the others choose to settle?

"Tired of it," said Ronald Carter. "It had gone on long enough that it was too hard to put up with."

Because of a gag order, they couldn't discuss their settlements. They did tell us they are still not able to drink their water or use it for certain tasks.

"We don't drink the water or cook with it, but we do everything else with it," Carter said.

Diana Horn has lived in Dimock Township for five years. A gas pad sits not far from her mobile home.

She wasn't around long enough to be a part of the 2009 lawsuit but her stepson was. Now, she supports the Hubert and Ely families who've taken Cabot to court.

"The water is only good for washing dishes and (taking) a shower. If you got a water system it's OK but you still can't drink the water," said Horn.

Those who live along Carter Road who chose to settle with the natural gas company tell us they made that decision because they hoped it would put an end to their frustrations. Now, many of them drive more than 20 minutes to get water from a well in Montrose.

Pat Farnelli tells us she settled because it seemed like fighting wasn't worth it. She worries about what she can do with her home in the future.

"We've been told you can't get a mortgage on a home this close to a gas well. We have also been told the value of our house has gone down. So yeah, we are going to have issues."

Those people we spoke to wish the Ely and Hubert families luck in their lawsuit and hope to put the water woes in the Dimock Township area in the past soon.

12 comments

  • Just Some Guy

    Other news outlets are reporting that the lawyer for the plaintiff’s said in her opening statement that there is no evidence of fracking chemicals in the water at all. Why is WNEP omitting that from its reporting?

    • Tired of the SOS

      The water was contaminated because the well casings that were drilled were faulty allowing methane gas and other substances into the water. The water was contaminated by the faulty drilling, fracking had not occurred when the water was contaminated. Do a bit of research, there is plenty if information about this.

      • Just Some Guy

        So everyone agrees it wasn’t “fracking”? Well, then. Case closed. They can drill thousands of feet down without any additives at all, just air.

  • Sick of it

    Regarding the lawsuit against Cabot you feature, where one family is still trying to maintain that their water was ruined by drilling on Carter Road in Dimock, the only thing I can say is … WOW you really do not know what happened there, do you? So many important facts against the plaintiffs are avoided. The fake brown jugs of water are still in view. The signs blaming drilling (which we know did not cause it) are still prominently shown. Didn’t bother to read even the judges decision? The one where it is obvious the plaintiffs caused this in order to get more money? All of the facts are available online. Please use google and get your info right.

    • JD

      …and while you’re at it, GOOGLE what problems Fracking REALLY causes. There’s more information against it, than there is FOR it! I’ll keep my clean water, thank you!

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