From: Haygood, Orr & Pearson
The federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a landowner who alleged her home was damages by vibrations from drilling operations. The judgment in favor of the plaintiff was affirmed in Hiser v. XTO Energy. Inc., No. 13–3443 (8th Cir. Oct. 3, 2014).
Ruby Hiser filed a lawsuit against XTO Energy Inc. in Arkansas. Ms. Hiser had lived in her home for six years before XTO began drilling operations nearby. XTO began drilling a gas well on property adjacent to Ms. Hiser’s home in February 2009. According to Ms. Hiser, it was around this time that she started feeling vibrations. Ms. Hiser testified at trial that she feels the vibrations and hears her house “crackle” when XTO’s drill is in use. She testified that people who stayed the night in her home also felt the vibrations. Several witnesses also testified at trial they had felt the vibrations when visiting Ms. Hiser’s property.