Seattle Firm Assists Family in First Fracking Trial

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Greenfield Advisors worked with Texas family to reach $3 million award.

Our team's ability to bring analytical resources to bear on a variety of interlocking aspects of this case gave the legal team the tools they needed to win.

Greenfield Advisors Inc. is proud to be part of the team that helped a Decatur, Texas family win a nearly $3 million verdict in April in what appears to be the first fracking trial in the United States.

The case is Parr et al. v. Aruba Petroleum Inc., case number CC-11-01650-E in the County Court at Law No. 5 of Dallas County, Texas. The 5-1 verdict against Aruba Petroleum Inc. stated that the oil company “intentionally caused a private nuisance” that affected the health of the Parr family and ruined their drinking water. Bob and Lisa Parr’s daughter suffered nosebleeds, and Lisa dealt with welts, rashes, nausea, and other health issues. The Seattle-based firm Greenfield Advisors Inc. worked with the plaintiff quantifying the real estate damages and aiding the Parr's legal team in their effective jury presentation.

"Greenfield's experience supporting complex environmental litigation was a perfect fit for the Parr case," said Dr. John Kilpatrick, Greenfield's Managing Director, who also served as an expert. "Our team's ability to bring analytical resources to bear on a variety of interlocking aspects of this case gave the legal team the tools they needed to win."

The Parrs filed suit in March 2011, seeking damages against nine companies thought to be involved in the drilling operations (Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., et al., No. 11-01650-E, County Court at Law No. 5 of Dallas County, filed March 8, 2011). Some of the companies were dismissed from the case, and some reached settlements before the trial, The Plaintiffs’ Eleventh Amended Petition filed September 17, 2013 alleged that Aruba Petroleum Inc.’s 22 wells active near the Parr home from 2008–2011 caused the illnesses and damaged the family’s property values. Expert testimony by Dr. Kilpatrick was vital to helping attorney Brad Gilde, who represented the Parrs.

“Dr. Kilpatrick's knowledge, skill, training, and education qualifies him as an expert in a field where his level of expertise is not shared by other experts on either side of the aisle,” Gilde said. “In short, he is a go-to expert and is tops in his field.”

The $2.925 million award on April 23 included $2 million for past physical pain and suffering by the Parr family, $250,000 for future physical pain and suffering, $400,000 for past mental anguish, and $275,000 for the lost market value of the property. Aruba Petroleum said they will appeal the verdict.

Dr. Kilpatrick noted, "We believe this will now set the standard for appraisers and economic analysts working on these cases nationwide."

Greenfield Advisors is a 38-year-old financial services firm specializing in complex real estate problem solving. Best known for its work in high-profile litigation and trophy property valuation, Greenfield Advisors addresses a broad range of issues in its projects, including feasibility studies, market research, valuation, business plans, wealth-management and private-equity advisory services, and economic modeling.

Learn more about Greenfield Advisors Inc. by visiting or by calling 206-623-2935.

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Joe Schulman
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