The biggest news, of course, was the unsurprising decision of Judge Carlson to throw out the negligence claim; one of only two claims left from those originally made by the Dimock plaintiffs, the bulk of which had been dismissed before the trial began. Carlson’s decision yesterday now leaves but one claim for the jury to decide upon; a claim of nuisance. The judge rejected the negligence claim for one very simple reason; the plaintiffs offered no evidence of damages, a point he made over and over again. He seemed to excuse the plaintiffs’ attorneys for not delivering the goods and, rather, blamed Scott Ely for not producing evidence in response to their questions:
It was a pretty complete putdown from a common sense perspective and, though Carlson gave the attorneys some cover by placing the burden for delivering the evidence on Scott Ely, there’s no mistaking the subliminal message; that the case was poorly prepared and presented and there is no one to blame for that other than the plaintiffs’ legal counsel, who had the obligation to lead them properly through the case. Having, myself, been in involved as an expert witness in various property damage claims, it is simply inconceivable an attorney would not secure multiple appraisals in such an instance to establish before and after values. That it didn’t happen tells us there was either rank incompetence or a lack of evidence to be had. Carlson effectively gave the benefit of the doubt to the latter.
Thus did the case immediately get at least halved, but there was more. First, there was neighbor, Martha Locey, who has lived roughly three miles way from the Ely property all her life and once worked at a former nursing home on Carter Road, just up the road from the gas wells in question. Locey was another highly credible witness in the mold of Mildred Green who had testified earlier and she had a similar story to tell. It was one of bubbling water that could be set on fire and had lots of iron in it long before gas drilling was even a dream in the minds of local residents. Leslie Lewis did her best to cast doubt on Mrs. Locey’s testimony but it didn’t work.Read more by clicking here.
This came after anti-drilling activists (who apparently did not want the details of how poorly the trial has reflected on the many claims that have been made about fracking in Dimock) flooded Facebook over the weekend with claims that FrackNation director Phelim McAleer's reports on the trial were "inappropriate," succeeding in getting the posts temporarily removed and the FrackNation page shut down for about 24 hours. The page was subsequently reactivated and all of McAleer's reports were restored.
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