The Cantrell v.
case has gone on appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Written briefs have been submitted to the Court by both sides and oral arguments are pending. We scratch our head when we read this stuff, since the lower court’s actions are riddled with errors, handing the verdict to Ashland . Ashland
One of the big errors committed by the lower court was restricting the testimony of Bob Grace, a petroleum engineer with oil field experience and particular expertise in water flooding and other secondary recovery techniques. Grace reviewed the records for several wells, including those on the plaintiff’s property. He opined that
’s methods were reckless, dangerous and grossly negligent and contaminated the land, surface waters and aquifers of the Martha Oil Field. He added that the improper use of nitroglycerin and high pressure water injection fractured the underground rock formations, permitting radioactive material to migrate between formations and contaminate the oil field. Ashland
The plantiffs really got the shaft from the lower court when Grace’s testimony was excluded since they could not demonstrate that
’s behavior throughout the Martha Oil Field, which Ashland managed for decades, was a gross deviation from industry standards. Ashland ’s D.C. law firm bragged on their web site that “One of the foundations of the favorable verdict, and its affirmation on appeal was the success of key pretrial efforts led by members our team to limit the testimony of plaintiffs’ experts.” Ashland
It seems to us that once again the lawyers get to pad their resumes and we get to glow in the dark.