Last week, in what is believed to be the first hydraulic fracturing tort case in the nation to reach a final decision, a Colorado trial court dismissed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit arising out of the drilling, hydraulic fracturing and development of natural gas wells in western Colorado. The lawsuit, Strudley v. Antero Resources Corporation, et al., 2011CV2218 (Denver Dist. Ct. 2012), was brought by William Strudley and his family against Antero Resources, which owns the wells, and two of Antero’s contractors involved in the drilling and the hydraulic fracturing.
A Lone Pine Order is an innovative judicial case management tool that requires toxic tort plaintiffs to produce credible expert evidence to support their theory of causation (or another key component of plaintiffs’ claim) prior to the commencement of pre-trial discovery. A Lone Pine Order is designed to weed out frivolous claims before defendants must invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and incalculable time and effort only to learn prior to trial that plaintiffs cannot establish a prima facie case.