In the Circuit Court of Faulkner County, Arkansas, on April 24, 2014, eight families who live near compressor stations operated by Desoto Gathering Company sued that company, alleging the emission of “huge amounts of methane and hydrogen sulfide, as well as other flammable, malodorous and noxious gases, chemicals and compounds, directly into the air.” In addition, these families assert that the compressor stations “are injuriously loud and produce harmful levels of noise and toxic emissions” and that they have been harmed by the noise, vibration, odor and pollution.

Having purchased their property many years ago because it was in a rural, non-industrial setting, the families allege that they were not consulted when the compressor stations were built nor when the stations were enlarged. The families claim that their “homes are within the blast/impact zone of the Midge 2 [and Scotland CPF 2] compressor station[s], the area which is likely to be impacted in the event the massive amounts of explosive natural gas or other flammable hydrocarbons on-site were to explode or catch fire.”

Stating causes of action for strict liability and negligence, each of seven families seeks $3 million for compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (with one family seeking $8 million and $12 million, respectively, claiming exacerbation of the husband’s post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed by the Department of Veterans Affairs) for discomfort resulting from the company’s activities and for personal injuries resulting from the noise and vibration of the compressor stations.

This lawsuit, Ramsey, et al. v. Desoto Gathering Company, LLC, Case No. 23CV-14-258, in the Circuit Court of Faulkner County, Arkansas for the 20th Judicial District, was filed two days after a $2.925 million verdict in Dallas, Texas for nuisance damages arising from the drilling activities of a natural gas company. Click here for more information on the Dallas verdict.

The eight families in this lawsuit were severed from a class action lawsuit now in federal court, Ramsey, et al. v. Desoto Gathering Company, LLC, et al., Case No. 4:13-cv-00626-BRW, In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, on March 27, 2014. The Court severed these families because the class action was not based on claims arising from the Midge CPF-2 and Scotland CPF-2 compressor stations, but rather on another compressor station.


This post was written by Barclay Nicholson (barclay.nicholson@nortonrosefulbright.com or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright’s Energy Practice Group.