$4.24M verdict in Pennsylvania drilling lawsuit tossed

    A federal judge has thrown out a $4.24 million jury verdict against a natural gas producer in Pennsylvania and ordered a new trial in a lawsuit alleging Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. contaminated the well water of two families.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson on Friday called evidence presented by the Dimock homeowners “sometimes contradictory, frequently rebutted by other scientific expert testimony” and relying “in some measure upon tenuous inferences.”

    The judge also said no evidence was presented that would justify a multi-million dollar award. He declined to decide the case in favor of the company and called for settlement discussions before a new trial.

    Dimock residents and their opposition to drilling companies was featured in the 2010 Emmy-winning documentary “Gasland.”

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