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PRAGUE, Okla. — Two cases involving lawsuits against oil companies for allegedly causing earthquakes have been given the green light.

This after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that plaintiffs can seek damages for personal and property injury in a district court.

The quake we’re talking about happened in Prague, Nov.2011.

One woman is suing oil companies in that area for personal injury. The other is suing the same companies for property damage.

They share their story, and why they want the companies to take responsibility.

“I feel like we can finally get things rolling, get everything back into the court system maybe finally, finally get some relief,” Jennifer Cooper, a plaintiff suing New Dominion LLC., and Spess Oil Company for property damage, said.

She wants relief from what Jennifer Cooper and Sandra Ladra, both Prague residents, call a nightmare.

“It was 2011 and it was November, and my son and I had gone to bed,” Cooper remembers.

That was one of the nights in early November when three separate quakes of 5.0 magnitude or greater hit the area.

“We were awoken at 2 in the morning to just this horrid rumbling in the wall, sounded like they were just going to cave-in on us,” Cooper says.

Pictures show what the first quake did to the single mother’s home.

“It was horrible, the brick was gone, fireplace off into the yard, the brick fireplace was off,” Cooper remembers. “We spent every Saturday for two years trying to repair just get it back to where the drive down my driveway didn’t make my heart sink.”

It’s a heartache Ladra shares, in a different way.

“It was just like somebody was up there just throwing rocks off and I was scared, I was trying to hold my hands up,” Ladra said.

Pictures show her injuries.

“Whenever I got up, I could feel blood running down my leg,” Ladra says.

But after stitches, and some therapy, she must now have knee replacement surgery.

“I don’t want other families to go through what we’ve been through,” Ladra said.

“We’re going to fight it all the way, and it’s not an easy road, we’ve made a lot of enemies, and we know that, but when you feel like somethings right and you feel like you have to stand up for something, you have to.” Cooper says.

And it’s a message they’re ready to send to the companies they say are responsible.

“I’m one of those people that I’m going to dig down and I’m going to fight my way all the way until it’s finished,” Cooper said.

We’ve tried contacting New Dominion LLC of Tulsa and Spess Oil Co. of Cleveland, Oklahoma. They say they cannot comment on pending litigation.

Attorneys both argued that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, not the court system, was the proper venue for damage claims because the commission has sole authority over oil and gas operations.

If there is no rehearing, it will be up to a jury to decide who bears responsibility.

 

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