ROBERT LEE, TX – Currently in Coke County the 51st District Court is holding an intense jury trial between a Ranch family in Bronte and multiple drilling companies.
The battle is between the Lee family, owner of the Cedar Mountain Ranch, and oilfield companies Grandfield, Ivory, Memorial, and Boaz in District Judge Carmen Dusek's court.
The Lee family is suing the companies for damages to their land that was caused by a malfunction at an injection well site back in Dec. 2010. They claim the breakout at the ranch was caused by a faulty packer that was placed inside the well which caused not only a back flow but for the well casing to deteriorate.
Packers are used inside of injection wells to seal the annular space between the casing and tubing to prevent fluid from being from shot back up the hole. In most cases injection wells are used for putting waste, salt, or chemical water into the ground. The process is used to get rid of waste water without poisoning the ground water.
The fight has not been whether or not the spill occurred but how it happened. During the time period the well had been transferred from one company to the other. During which a San Angelo company, C.C. Forbes, was called in for service on the well.
Following their visit, a field ticket was filled out which stated that an EE packer was installed, 8 joints were removed and left on the ground on site, and that one of the packers got lost in the process. Owner of Granfield, the operator at the time, claims he never received the ticket and was unaware of the change.
Owner of Ivory claims that regardless of the installment of the new Packer that this may have happened regardless. He pointed out that older wells break constantly and that this particular one was 57 years old.
The morning ended with the plaintiffs resting their case. The civil trial is scheduled to continue for the next week as it is expected to last for three weeks.