Families sue Range Resources for fraud and contamination


I’m not an attorney. Regardless, this is one impressive pleading and I don’t see any way out of this for Range Resources.  I am begging you to read this pleading.

If I remember correctly, fraud means the plaintiffs get treble damages. Is that right? I’m pretty sure it is.

I can’t wait to see what Pitz comes up with for this one.

Let’s see what the news says…

Families sue Range Resources, claiming ills from gas wells
By Tim Puko
Published: Friday, May 25, 2012, 9:41 p.m.

In this article, Dear Readers, I want you to pay close attention to the following statement by Matt Pitzarella, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Range Resources

“They very carefully string together a series of incidents — some of them real, and some of them not — to craft a series of conclusions that in many cases have already been debunked by the state,” he said

Is this Karma at work again? If I remember correctly, Range Resources is trying to include me in their fantasy about a conspiracy to defame their fine reputation as an excellent driller. And in their effort they carefully string together a series of incidents–like a photo of me with a government official and an email–to craft a series of conclusions that amount to nothing. Whoops!

After reading the pleading, I’m certain that Pitzarella’s statement is not true in this case but it is certainly true in the reverse when you consider the totally manufactured motion to compel in the subpoena Range sent to me. But this is not about me. This is just more proof that Range Resources does not have the good reputation they claim.

Shale drilling contaminated water, families say in lawsuit

Range, which has attempted to foster a friendly, folksy, corporate image in commercials and ads featuring regular rural residents and leaseholders, has maintained for years that its Yeager operations, which include one “fracked” well and two drilled wells, condensate tanks, the flowback fluids impoundment and drill cuttings pit, have not contaminated groundwater.

But full and complete test results subpoenaed from Range but never revealed to residents near the Yeager well site show that chemical contaminants similar to those found in the fracking flowback impoundment and the drill cuttings pit were also found in water samples from wells and springs.

Range showed or sent to the plaintiffs and the DEP less detailed test reports that showed many chemical contaminants were “not detected” in the water samples, but, the lawsuit says, omitted results for others, including several semi-volatile organic compounds that were present in the groundwater samples and the company’s impoundment and pit, and that showed the water was contaminated.

Because they relied on the test reports, the plaintiffs — Stacey, Harley and Paige Haney; Beth, John and Ashley Voyles; and Loren and Grace Kiskadden — continued to drink, cook and bathe in the contaminated water.


Monday morning you can watch NYSE:RRC stock fall further HERE.

UPDATE: Stunning aerial photos of the Range impoundment HERE.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Tim Ruggiero says

    Days like this I bet CHK and Cabot are happy to have Range Resources around, give them a chance to come up for some air. So to speak..Range Resources will do what it always does-spin, spin, spin, settle. Keep an eye on this case and it will end like the Hallowich’s and Gulla’s. One day it’s there, next day it’s not, and nobody’s talking. Unless you’re Ron Gulla, of course, who got hit pretty hard by Range, but hits back himself pretty hard, too.

  2. Andy Mechling says

    Thanks Sharon, for posting this. Some of the defendants named in this action clearly belong in jail. I hope they sleep well tonight.

    I also hope those families with children involved will be able to relocate at least until they can get that mess cleaned up. Kids need to be able to go outside and play, and not have to worry about being poisoned by their neighbors.

    The plaintiffs attorneys understandably focus on high levels of hydrogen sulfide repeatedly detected in the headspace above the impoundment by one of Range’s contractors. No mention is made of concurrent exposures to carbon disulfide or carbonyl sulfide in this lawsuit.

    The suit does allege that on Tuesday May 17. 2011 one of the plaintiffs awoke at about 4:30 , , ,”and immediately noticed an exceptionally pungent odor in her home similar to the smell of raw sewage”

    I hope all of you out there are paying attention to this part. This woman is not complaining about a rotten egg smell.

    I hope none of you ever have to smell what she smelled on that morning; or ever have to put up with some regulator or politician – with no data whatsoever – try to tell you what you are and aren’t being exposed to in your own home.

    It can get tiresome.

    Please remember, in H2O; CS2 and COS will react to form H2S. All three of these gases will be expected to rapidly “volatolize” from that water and flow downhill immediately. H2S is the lightest and least persistent of these three gases.

  3. GhostBlogger says

    This story is being carried in other states, as well.

    Then, a little online searching leads to other questions:


    David W. Schrack vs. Range Resources- Appalachia, formerly f/k/a Great Lakes Energy Partners, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, et al.

    PA- Daniel J. Guida; Jonathan E. Turak; J- Hummel

    * Defendant’s concealment; failure to disclose resulted in many landowners entering into oil and gas leases in which they received far less than the fair market value and a delay in rental payments. It is further claimed that defendants unjustly notarized signatures when they had a qualifying interest in said documents. Plaintiff seeks a declaration of duties and obligations of the parties under the multiple documents and the Lease, dated Jan. 17, 2009, be declared null and void. A trial by jury is demanded.

    Case number: 12-C-86

    Gee, Sharon, it sounds like RRC is creating their own issues that “defame” them.

  4. Alma Hasse says


    Fantastic post– as always! Thanks for continuing to fight back! We are sooooooooooo very grateful to have people like you on the ground! Keep giving them hell and delivering those knock-down punches– pretty soon they’re going to be knockout punches! You’re my kinda gal!!! :-) Alma


  1. […] May 25, 2012 a complaint was filed at Washington County Pa court:  Haney et al vs Range Resources.  This is a 1800 page document with emails and lab results the main point is that three families living in ancestral homes for several generations with good water found themselves drinking such polluted water that the toxins of Benzene, Toluene and Arsenic was found in all seven of the plaintives urine samples! Range and their 16 subcontractors and false professional engineers screwed up and all details are in the lawsuit which repeatedly emphasizes that they want a jury verdict—not a judge who must raise funds to get elected from guess who—the oil and gas giants.  Often such enbarassing lawsuits get squashed early on with a hefty settlement but for once we get to see all the dirty linen in this one right off the bat in the original complaint.  The industry decided to dump frack fluid from other wells into the impoundment at these families without any permit from state or feds.  Just complete lawlessness. The case is posted on this blog: http://www.texassharon.com/2012/05/26/families-sue-range-resources-for-fraud-and-contamination/ […]