DeSoto Gathering Co. Sued for $76M

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 11:30 am  

Several Arkansas families are suing a company that owns natural gas compressor stations for a total of $76 million, citing disruptions caused by the stations.

According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Faulkner County Circuit Court, the eight plaintiff families live in White and Van Buren Counties.

Represented by attorneys Tim and John Holton of Memphis, they are suing DeSoto Gathering Co. of Conway. DeSoto operates two compressor stations in Pangburn and Scotland.

The suit claims that DeSoto's operations are causing loud noises and "toxic emissions" including methane and hydrogen sulfide as well as "other flammable, malodorous and noxious gases," all of which is causing discomfort to the plaintiffs.  

The families are also claiming that their residences are within blast range should the gases catch fire and cause an explosion.

Further distress is caused when the stations undergo "equipment blowdowns," which are loud enough to sound like explosions and occur several times each month at odd hours.

Seven of the plaintiff families are demanding $8 million each in damages; one plaintiff, Cary Shirley, is claiming personal injury due to post-traumatic stress disorder and is demanding $20 million.

DeSoto has not yet responded to the suit.

The lawsuit is nearly identical to a class action suit filed in August 2013 that was removed to Federal Court; the eight plaintiffs named in the new suit were severed from the original suit and were ordered to refile their cases within 30 days of the Federal Court's order dated March 27.



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