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Oil company agrees to $850k settlement for 2016 Oklahoma earthquake damages

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Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
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A 5.0-magnitude earthquake in November 2016 damaged dozens of buildings in downtown Cushing, Okla.

Residents around Pawnee and Cushing are one step closer to winning a class-action settlement involving earthquake damage. The lawsuit was filed following two 2016 earthquakes — one of which set a state record for the largest magnitude ever recorded.

The wastewater disposal well operator Eagle Road Oil LLC agreed to pay $850,000 to settle its portion of the lawsuit, which a judge will consider at a Sept. 15 fairness hearing. The suit was filed in November 2016 after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Pawnee and a 5.0 quake struck near Cushing — both of which caused significant damage to homes and buildings.

After the Pawnee quake, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency shut down 32 disposal wells and restricted another 35 wells. The settlement covers two years of earthquake damage from quakes that occurred within 50 miles of Pawnee between 2014 and 2016. Eagle Road denies allegations that it played a role in the quakes.

Pawnee resident Sherri Laird spoke to StateImpact after the 2016 earthquake. She said the quake cracked her chimney and broke a neighbor’s sewer line. She was in bed when it hit.

“My husband and I had to hold onto the bedposts, it was so bad,” Laird said.

Eagle Road wasn’t the only defendant in the suit — litigation will continue against Cummings Oil Co., Territory Resources LLC and EnerVest Operating LLC.

If you sustained damage from these quakes, you can join the lawsuit by submitting a claim here before Dec. 29. More information on the settlement can be found by calling 1-888-890-6717.

Beth Wallis joined StateImpact Oklahoma in December 2021, focusing on environment and science reporting.
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