Over and over again, all those who have investigated, have determined Loren Kiskadden, the junkyard plaintiff from Western Pennsylvania has no case.
I’ve written about Loren Kiskadden, the junkyard plaintiff from Southwestern Pennsylvania, numerous times. He’s a junkyard owner and a serial litigator who was used by some trial lawyers and the fractivist community as a poster child for their cause. You can get a good overview of the case and its history here. It appears to have been directly or indirectly encouraged by the Heinz Endowments, among others, as a way to go after the industry through Range Resources. Now the Commonwealth Court has added its name to the list of objective parties who’ve looked at the evidence and concluded the facts just don’t support the fractivist assertions.
There’s no need to revisit all the details of those assertions. Kiskadden alleged activities connected with Range Resources gas wells contaminated his water well, which is located in the midst of the junkyard he has operated:
And, here’s the bigger view:
The Environmental Hearing Board decision stated Kiskadden “simply did not introduce the necessary factual testimony, lab results, or expert testimony to carry his burden of proof and prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence.” Kiskadden then appealed to the Commonwealth Court. Now that court has looked at the facts and here’s what it found:
…it was Kiskadden’s burden to prove that the Yeager Site was more probable than not the source of contamination of his water well. We have examined the evidence in this matter very carefully…
Kiskadden’s evidence did not outweigh strong, conflicting evidence that the contaminants in his well water, particularly in the ratios and concentrations detected, were naturally occurring and not unique to oil and gas activities. Moreover, his evidence did not prevail over other credible evidence refuting the existence or likelihood of a physical pathway between his well and the Yeager Site.
Taking into consideration our appellate role and the weight and credibility assigned to the evidence by the Board, we are constrained to conclude that the Board’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and that the Board did not capriciously disregard the evidence or improperly rely on speculative evidence. The Board’s findings support the conclusion that Kiskadden did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a hydrogeological connection exists between his water well and Range’s operations at the Yeager Site.
Will this finally be the end of this ridiculous case? Will whoever has been paying for this litigation finally acknowledge the facts?