Prague Couple Settles Lawsuit Over Earthquakes
PRAGUE, Oklahoma - A Prague couple who sued two oil companies over injuries and earthquake damage to their home has settled their lawsuit. The couple's attorney Scott Poynter says this is the first case involving earthquakes and wastewater injection that has been settled in Oklahoma.
Next month will be six years since the Prague earthquake. And now the Ladra family, thanks to the settlement is finally able to start buying supplies and fixing their home.
Since November 2011, Sandra and her husband Gary have had to live with the damage done by the 5.7 magnitude earthquake.
“It’s been a long six years, it’s been very nerve wracking the conditions that we’ve had to live in,” said Sandra on Wednesday.
At the time of the earthquake, oil companies claimed no responsibility.
“Just everybody was passing it off, it’s natural, there’s nothing nobody can do about it. After a while I realized somebody has to get their attention and I think we did that.”
Sandra and her husband sued New Dominion and Spess Oil claiming nearby wastewater injection wells caused the earthquake. The case went all the way through the Oklahoma Supreme Court and was supposed to go to trial in November. Poynter says the details of the settlement can't be disclosed, but Sandra says it's enough to start moving on.
“That is a real relief, maybe to get back to our lives,” she said.
And she hopes that her landmark case will send a clear message for the future.
“I do know that Oklahoma needs the oil and Oklahomans need their jobs and all of that. It’s just there’s got to be a safer way of doing it.”
The other class action lawsuits for folks in Prague and other areas around Oklahoma are still pending.
News 9 attempted to contact New Dominion but no one returned our calls by air time and we were told no one would be available from Spess Oil until next week.