Residents of Garfield County neighborhoods impacted by natural gas drilling have been approached by a New York City firm that last year landed a $712.5 million settlement for workers injured in the World Trade Center cleanup.
A representative of Napoli Bern Ripka LLP will attend a meeting of potential plaintiffs Feb. 22 at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, according to an activist group fighting to mitigate drilling impacts. Also on hand will be attorneys from the Aspen law firm of Thomas Genshaft PC.
Dave Devanney, co-chair of Battlement Concerned Citizens, said there was so much interest in a possible “mass tort” lawsuit that a meeting originally scheduled for last month had to be postponed to this month to accommodate all the interested property owners. He added it’s not clear at this point who all the defendants might be or the basis for any potential litigation
“It appears that the scope of possible legal action may have been broadened beyond just [diminished] property values,” Devanney wrote in an email Monday. “Plus, the scope of possible clients may have also changed.”
Attorneys first began contacting residents of the Silt Mesa subdivision last month. Denver-based Antero Resources began drilling there last summer and had been seeking an increase in well density from one per 40 acres to one per 10. The company reportedly backed off that plan in a meeting with the county commissioners on Monday, also committing to a setback of 500 feet from an occupied building.