The lawsuit Jeremiah Magers filed in Marshall County Circuit Court in February against Chesapeake Energy has been moved to federal court. The lawsuit alleges the company has failed to provide Magers with an alternate water source since his water well became contaminated with methane.
According to the lawsuit, Chesapeake’s failure to supply Magers and his wife Andrea with fresh water constitutes “willful, wanton, intentional, reckless and malicious” behavior, and a “criminal indifference to the obligations it owed to the plaintiffs.”
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports that the Magers well was contaminated with methane after Chesapeake started fracking at a site about 1,200 feet from the well. Though Chesapeake confirmed methane in the water well, the company denied their fracking operations caused the gas contamination. The Magers lawsuit says that there was so much methane in the well and nearby Fish Creek, that “plaintiffs could ignite both the water and Fish Creek.” Chesapeake said that “methane present in the water sample did not match the gas from our oil and gas operations.”
According to the court filings, “The defendant has failed to provide the plaintiffs an alternate water supply or compensate them for the contamination of their water well and their costs in purchasing water.” The suit continues, “The plaintiffs had no need to purchase water prior to their water being contaminated.”