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Wise County Family Sues Over Natural Gas ‘Fracking’

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News
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A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site. (credit: AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site. (credit: AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

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ALLISON (CBSDFW.COM) – A Wise County family claims natural gas drilling has ruined their home, health, and their lives… and now they’re suing.

Lisa Parr says her entire family finally had to move into the Denton business office of her husband, Bob, in order to end all of their health issues.

“This is where we want to live, this is where we used to live,” Lisa said of her home in Allison, near Decatur. “But we can’t get there anymore without fear and without being sick.”

The Parr’s claim their family, 8-year-old daughter Emma Duvall, suffered from chronic nosebleeds, dizziness and nausea.

But because she was home all day, Lisa says she had it the worst. “Shortness of breath, could not take a breath,” she said, recounting her numerous illnesses and trips to local emergency rooms. “Vomiting. Extreme rash, from my scalp to the bottom of my feet was covered with rashes.”

The Parr’s blame their health problems on some 50 Barnett Shale natural gas wells that have sprung up around their home, in recent years.

They claim neighbors are ill, too, but say because their home is in a low-lying hollow they received the brunt of the hydrocarbons and manufacturing gases.

“The natural gas activities taking place have poisoned the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the land upon which they live,” explained their attorney, Brad Gilde of Houston.

Bob Parr was even more blunt with his description. “The gas companies just come in and do whatever they want to do,” he claimed. “It doesn’t matter, they hurt whoever they want to hurt and doesn’t care.”

Although the Parr home sits in Wise County, the suit was filed in Dallas County because one of the defendants — an energy company — is headquartered in Dallas.

Officials with Republic Energy, Inc., located on Greenville Avenue, say they haven’t seen the suit and won’t comment. Another company, Ryder Scott Petroleum of Houston, claims it is a consulting firm and not a natural gas operator and that it was wrongly named in the suit.

Most other defendants in the suit are located in Houston or out of state.

While not asking for a specific dollar amount, the Parr claim lists nearly three pages of damages for which they want compensation.

Bob Parr built the home nearly a decade ago; he married Lisa in 2008, and it was about that time when everyone began getting sick. “We were married and a few months later we get sick? It’s very hard to imagine not to be able to go back without fear,” Lisa said.

The Parr family is primarily sleeping on rollout beds in Bob’s office, but Lisa can’t conceive going back to their home any time soon.

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