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Driller files $5M suit against 'Gasland' resident, lawyers

| Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, 7:09 p.m.
Ray Kemble, of Dimock, Pa., holds a jug of his well water on his head while marching with demonstrators against hydraulic fracturing outside a Marcellus Shale industry conference on Sept. 20, 2012, in Philadelphia.
Ray Kemble, of Dimock, Pa., holds a jug of his well water on his head while marching with demonstrators against hydraulic fracturing outside a Marcellus Shale industry conference on Sept. 20, 2012, in Philadelphia.

A gas driller that was targeted with allegations that it polluted residential water wells in Pennsylvania has filed a $5 million lawsuit against a resident and his lawyers, asserting they tried to extort the company through a frivolous lawsuit.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. said Dimock resident Ray Kemble and his lawyers sought to harass and extort the Houston-based driller, attract media attention and “poison” the community by recycling “stale, settled claims” against the company.

“Cabot will protect its rights and pursue justice against those who irresponsibly and maliciously abuse the legal system,” George Stark, the driller's director of external affairs, said Tuesday.

Cabot's suit, filed Monday in Susquehanna County Court, takes issue with a federal lawsuit that Kemble and his lawyers filed in April but withdrew two months later. That suit accused Cabot of continuing to pollute Kemble's water supply.

The company said the claims in Kemble's suit were the subject of a 2012 settlement between Cabot and dozens of Dimock residents and were barred by the statute of limitations. Cabot's suit also alleged Kemble had breached the 2012 settlement by publicly talking about the company.

Kemble, who's long been one of Pennsylvania's most visible and outspoken anti-drilling activists, and his attorneys did not immediately return phone messages Tuesday.

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