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Something in the Water

When a nearby fracking operation contaminated a local rancher’s water supply, caused a flash fire, and left him and his family with severe injuries, attorney Chris Hamilton helped fight back against the oil and gas companies responsible.

Cody Murray is a rancher living in Perrin, Texas, a small community about 35 miles west of Fort Worth. On August 2, 2014, he and his father, Jim, went to check the pump house covering a water well on his property after his wife noticed the well spraying pressurized water.

Entering the pump house, Murray turned the pump on and was almost immediately hit by a fireball erupting from inside. With barely any time to push his father out of harm’s way, Murray took the brunt of the blast. He suffered severe burns and nerve damage. While some of his injuries took months to heal, much of the damage will be with him for the rest of his life. Murray was left with neurological damage that causes weakness in his arms and hands. It’s unclear when or even if he’ll be able to work again. In addition, Murray’s father and four-year-old daughter suffered first and second-degree burns and had to be hospitalized.

Evidence of Wrongdoing

The Murrays hired Texas attorney Chris Hamilton to represent them in the matter, who immediately got to work investigating what had happened. Two gas wells sit roughly 1,000 feet away from the Murrays’ water well. High-level methane contamination was later proved by scientific testing. In addition, the Railroad Commission of Texas, Oil and Gas Division, in the course of its own investigation, found discrepancies in the maintenance records of the two nearby oil and gas wells. The owners of the oil and gas wells, offered up excuses as to why it seemed proper care hadn’t been given to the wells in question. However, those explanations were unconvincing.

The Frackers Back Down

Hamilton filed a lawsuit against the oil and gas companies. In addition to getting Murray and his family the help they needed, Hamilton wanted to prevent accidents like this one from happening in the future. Unfortunately, Murray will feel the effects of his accident for years to come, but he and his family now have the resources he needs to recover.