Colorado Ruling Raises Stakes in Fracking Litigation and Beyond

July 11, 2013

In an Independence Day gift to plaintiffs, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., No. 12CA1251 (July 3, 2013), that Colorado law does not allow pre-discovery Lone Pine orders, often used by trial courts to manage complex toxic tort cases. The decision comes in the new area of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” litigation and involves a matter of first impression for the Colorado courts. It is for now, and pending further review by the Colorado Supreme Court, a significant win for fracking litigation plaintiffs — both within the state and nationally. It also will be cited in other product liability and toxic tort cases where plaintiffs bring claims involving complex issues of medical causation and defendants seek Lone Pine relief.

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