Legal

Lawyer considers compensation case for properties damaged by seismic testing

Seismic Testing Cuadrilla

Photo: Frack Off

A Manchester law firm is in the early stages of launching a legal case on behalf of people who say their properties have been damaged by seismic surveying in Lancashire.

Surveys commissioned by the fracking company Cuadrilla in the Fylde in 2012 led to complaints of damage to homes.

Now a lawyer who describes himself as a leader in real estate litigation in north west England is considering beginning a class action to get compensation.

Graeme Dixon, a director at DWF, said:

“We know of at least two or three properties that have been damaged in the area and the cause was mostly likely to be seismic testing carried out in 2012”.

He said the legal action was “in very early stages” but his firm was considering placing a local newspaper advert to alert other people who believed their property had been damaged.

He said whether the case was presented as a class action, where one person represented a group in court, would depend on how much compensation people were looking to claim and how many people were involved.

Seismic tests or surveys are used to create detailed images of rock types below the surface and to help identify oil and gas reserves and geological features. The surveys use vibrations to create sound waves on the surface that travel underground and reflect back off rock formations. This can be achieved by thumper trucks where vehicles can get access to land or by burying explosive charges.

Last week, the public inquiry reviewing Cuadrilla’s applications to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood heard from two people who said their homes had been damaged by the tests.

One of them, Mark Mills, who lives near the Preston New Road site, told the inquiry he had been trying to get compensation from Cuadrilla since 2012.

He said contractors for the company trespassed on his land and were preparing to lay explosive charges near a gas main. They later laid explosives in a field nearby and caused damage, including to a floor, at his property. He said his insurer had now agreed to take on his case to recover the cost of the damage.

DrillOrDrop asked Cuadrilla to comment on the possibility of legal action. A spokesperson for the company said this morning:

“We have had one letter from a Mr Mark Mills in late 2014 to which we have responded.  We have had no further correspondence from him and we have seen no firm evidence of any damage.  If we receive any further correspondence we will of course respond to it.”

3 replies »

  1. Nothing new here. Amoco (later taken over by BP) were chased for “seismic” damage to houses in the 1980’s when thet operated onshore UK. I don’t recall any cases being proven. HGVs cause infintely more damage – and tractors. Lawyers are alwaying someting……

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