Jessica Ernst Wins Right to Sue over Fracked Wellwater

Andrew Nikiforuk

The Tyee.ca

A landmark lawsuit that challenges the lax regulation of hydraulic fracturing in Canada has just scored a major victory.

In a lengthy decision, Alberta Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed all key arguments made by the government of Alberta against the lawsuit of Jessica Ernst, including the fear that it may unleash a flood of lawsuits against a government that is heavily dependent on hydrocarbon revenue.

The Alberta government argued that Ernst’s $33-million lawsuit had no merit; that the government owed no duty of care to landowners with contaminated water; and that the government had statutory immunity.

But Wittmann’s ruling disagreed on all major counts and ordered the lawsuit against the government to proceed.

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