Ruling Allows Oklahoma Earthquake Lawsuit To Go To Trial.

If a person is injured by the negligence or recklessness of another person, the victim may be able to sue for money damages in a personal injury lawsuit. In this type of lawsuit, the victim must show that the alleged perpetrator breached a certain duty of care toward the victim and acted negligently or recklessly toward the victim. There must be a causal link between the breach of this duty of care and the injury sustained by the victim. If the link can be proven, the victim may be able to collect money damages for such things as pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.

On November 5, 2011, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Oklahoma. This was the largest earthquake on record for the state of Oklahoma. As a result of the earthquake, a two-story fireplace in the home of Sandra Ladra crumbled. Rocks from the fireplace subsequently fell onto Ladra’s knee, causing her severe injuries.

Now, Ladra is filing a lawsuit against the energy industry in Oklahoma for $75,000, claiming that saltwater waste that is pumped into the ground by that industry is causing these increasingly severe earthquakes. There are over 25 defendants, including New Dominion LLC and Spess Oil Company. The Oklahoma Supreme Court has recently ruled, as a procedural issue, that this case can go to a jury trial. The Court did not discuss the merits of the case, determining that the suit should return to a lower court on the merits because Ladra is only seeking money damages and is not trying to change the regulatory practices of the industry. Ladra is represented by attorney Scott Poynter.

According to the New York Times, there is fear that this procedural ruling will usher in a flood of litigation against the Oklahoma energy industry, causing the industry to suffer an overall decline. However, others hope that these lawsuits will have a regulatory effect, whereby the industry is forced to improve their practices rather than face future litigation.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of the negligence or recklessness of another, please call 617-787-3700 now to speak with one of our expert Massachusetts personal injury lawyers or email us at

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