If you’ve noticed an increase in the number of earthquakes throughout the Midwest, you are not alone. Geologists say there were over 600 earthquakes of 1.5 or greater magnitude in Kansas in 2014. Earthquakes can cause severe injuries or even death. Does our civil justice system allow you or your family to sue if property damage, injury or death result from an earthquake?
Defining The Responsible Party
In order to sue someone, our justice system requires you to show that someone else is responsible for causing your injury. The responsible party can be an individual or a corporation. No lawsuits have been filed in Kansas, but it may only be a matter of time.
The first earthquake suits have been filed in Oklahoma. On one side, the plaintiffs in the suits argue that energy companies are causing the quakes. Many people suspect the increased number of earthquakes is due to an acceleration in oil production. Seismic changes occur with the increased drilling, fracking, and mismanaged disposal of toxic waste.
Energy Companies Fight Back
Energy companies have fought back arguing for legal regulations that protect the oil and gas industries from litigation. Industry executives say that earthquakes have many causes, and it is impossible to say an earthquake is caused by any single factor.
In order for the earthquake suits to succeed, the plaintiffs must show that more likely than not the oil companies were a cause of the earthquakes, and knew or should have known that property damage or injuries were likely to result.
Last Line of Defense
The civil justice system is the last line of defense that can protect citizens from the oil and gas industry when the legislature fails to enact sufficient protections. As one of the premiere law offices in Wichita, Kansas, Patterson Legal Group will continue to monitor the progression of these claims and update consumers as information becomes available.
If you need an attorney in Wichita, Kansas, call Patterson Legal Group! (316) 687-2400.