JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A Jones County judge ruled Monday that a lawsuit brought by a family against several oil companies in the area could move forward.
Tae and Diedra Baucum are suing Petro Harvester Oil and Gas Company LLC, Petro Harvester Operating Company LLC, Champion Oilfield Service LLC, Boots Smith Oilfield Services LLC, Comstock Oil & Gas LP, Jerry Huddleston and Gary McAdams.
The lawsuit alleges that polluted oilfield waste buried beneath the surface on a nearby property has leached into the Baucum’s property causing it to be contaminated as well.
Monday’s ruling allows for the family to pursue a personal injury claim through the Jones County court while a property damage claim will go through the Oil and Gas Board.
The lawsuit claims the defendants disregarded human health and safety by dumping, drilling, pumping and burying oil field waste below the surface of the properties.
Environmental expert Bob Bowcock said that Petro Harvester’s property is contaminating the area with surface water discharge ponds and may have percolated into the shallow aquifer system.
Jones County Circuit Court Judge Dal Williamson ruled in the case.