Lillard Wise Szygenda Secures No-Liability Jury Verdict For Barnett Shale Gas Processor In Touchstone Nuisance Case

November 19, 2009

WEATHERFORD, TX – November 19, 2009 – In a significant victory for oil and gas producers and processors in the Barnett Shale, Lillard Wise Szygenda (LWS) obtained a jury verdict declaring that Crosstex Energy Services, L.P.’s Azle gas processing facility did not constitute a nuisance to surrounding homeowners.  The judge for the 414th Judicial District Court of Parker County, Texas confirmed the verdict by officially entering judgment on it last week.  The plaintiffs have indicated they will not appeal.

Crosstex began operations at its Azle plant in late 2006.  Within days, numerous homeowners in an upscale residential subdivision within a half-mile of the plant filed suit seeking millions in damages on the grounds that the plant was a public and private nuisance.  The residents claimed that the plant created excessive noise, vibrations and light, produced an unwelcome flare associated with “pigging” operations, constituted an eyesore and frightened them.

On Crosstex’s behalf, LWS defended the suit by arguing, among other points, that Crosstex had engaged in reasonable measures to address the homeowner’s concerns and that it had a right to exist in Parker County like the plaintiffs.  After a week-long trial, the jury found in Crosstex’s favor, concluding that the plant was not a nuisance under Texas law.

“This constitutes an important victory for natural gas producers and processors in the Barnett Shale, because this case appears to be the first nuisance case of its type tried to verdict in the region,” said Tom Lillard, who tried the case for Crosstex with Andy Szygenda.  “Clearly, the jury recognized the tremendous effort undertaken by Crosstex to operate its facility in the most neighbor-friendly manner possible.  I truly think the verdict represents an acknowledgment that oil and gas operations and rural residential living can and should be compatible.”

About Lillard Wise Szygenda PLLC
LWS is a litigation boutique that represents businesses and individuals in state and federal trial and appellate courts and arbitration forums throughout the United States and provides pre-litigation counseling to its clients.  The attorneys at LWS have successfully represented clients in a variety of energy-related disputes, employment matters, complex commercial cases involving misrepresentation, contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of confidential information, and tortious interference claims, as well as litigation involving ERISA, construction defects, real property rights, and insurance coverage.  For more information, visit the firm’s website at lwsattorneys.com or contact Emily Diebitsch at (214) 739-2013 orediebitsch@lwsattorneys.com.

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