Lesson from Dimock: Damages Are For Everyone

Otdoor Life - Shaughnessy

Bill Shaughnessy
Wayne County, Pennsylvania Landowner


The Dimock verdict offers a lesson, Bill Shaughnessy observes. Life is an endless opportunity for wealth if you know how to fake it.

Today, following the Dimock verdict, I’m wondering why I do what I do to fight for our rights as landowners; why I sometimes hang around the same circles as Maya van Rossum and friends just to get some info that may help our cause. I guess in one way we are lucky. We are just as intelligent as we were two days ago, while public opinion and a fractivist sympathetic media has collectively dropped the IQ of the rest of the world double digits with the coverage of this case (not to mention the insanity of the verdict). Perhaps it’s also a learning opportunity for all of us.


Cabot was ordered to pay up for a “nuisance” claim. There was no contamination from fracking; that was admitted before the trial and reiterated during it. The trial also revealed the EPA had told the plaintiffs their water was safe and even their lawyer acknowledged “there’s no toxic content of the water that has been tested out.” It was, in other words, proven beyond any shadow of any doubt that there was no contamination.  Yet, the plaintiffs were awarded $4.24 million in damages for a “nuisance.” What the hell the nuisance was…who knows?

Therefore, it being obvious damages must be for everyone, I have decided to launch a number of lawsuits against many individuals, businesses, and state and federal governments for a number of “nuisances” that I feel have impacted my life.  Here are a few:

  • That road work at the intersection of I-81 and Route 17 in Binghamton, New York that has gone on forever and made the entire interchange a nightmare: Nuisance Damages Value = $2.0 million
  • Windmills on Farview Mountain that block my view: Nuisance Damages Value = $3.5 million
  • Tree in my neighbors yard that houses nesting birds that crap on my car: Nuisance Damages Value = $500,000 (I took it easy on him, I happen to like the guy otherwise)
  • Any telemarketer that calls me: Nuisance Damages Value = $2.5 million (This one I’m not being as sarcastic about)
  • Those self flushing toilets that flush when you put the paper down –- before you get a chance to sit on said sanitary paper: Nuisance Damages Value = $1.5 million
  • The weatherman called for sun on my day off, but it rained: Nuisance Damages Value = $ 5.5 million
  • Mosquitoes, Poison Ivy, Ticks and Horseflies: Nuisance Damages Value = $2.0 million
  • Packaging on CDs: Nuisance Damages Value = $1.5 million
  • Maya van Rossum’s Voice: Nuisance Damages Value = $6.0 million (Truthfully, there’s not enough money in the world to appropriately compensate for this one, but $6.0 million will ease the pain temporarily)

Well, let’s call it a day’s work with this list.  Not bad; I should be able to pull in a cool $25 million without blinking an eye. Now, I just need a lawyer who knows how to fake it and can play the sympathy card…

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3 thoughts on “Lesson from Dimock: Damages Are For Everyone

  1. Bill, you do what you do because you know it is right and good for the rest of us humans that don’t behave the way these plaintiffs and their misguided jury (that were probably star struck, only hears low information chatter that oil companies are bad), participated in the circus. Having had a multi-million dollar complete emotional jury verdict go against the facts, evidence and lack of proven damages, I know the pain of such embarrassing crap. Lessons learned: Try to stay with a Judge trail only Never have a jury trial involving oil and gas ops; never underestimate opposing Counsel’s mendacity and willingness to perjure him or herself; use good and well respected local counsel – not high fee large city out of town lawyers; and realize fighting with even the most vile of the residents is a loser in the oil patch…right out of the gate. Cabot has the dough to get this nonsense corrected, but that is just more legal fees for both sides.

  2. It,s going to get harder and harder to seat a jury that is fair minded on some of these issues as time passes! The more pipe you lay, the more landowners that get compulserized and the more royalty disputes that arise will make it a harsh envirnment for ng developers!
    Pushin and shuvin and throwing your weight around will only take ya so far! People get hip to your shit after a while!
    Burn domestic energy, the job you save might be your own?
    All NY or None !Just say no to tubuler rectol assult!!

    • Funny thing about this, is all of these “plaintiffs” are still going to want to cook then consume food, and drive their cars to go get it. Your prius still needs tires and steel buddy. All of these actions require oil and gas, or I guess they can go back to mules, and draft horses. When they need lubricants for their buggy axle, they can use whale oil.(actualy still used in aerospace… Look it up) If we did not have natural gas, we would be using trees to cook our food. People quickly forget about horse excriment all over the streets being a health nusance don’t they? I went to a fractivist fund raiser once, the event was being catered by many local restaurants. They were all using butane and propane to cook, as it was an outdoor event. I asked attendees where they thought that energy came from. The look of deer in headlights was priceless. Hypcracy is rampant in all of these movements. I am all about alternative and green energy, that is why I am pro oil and gas. It is the original alternative to coal, timber and animals. Ditching your SUV for a Prius that has been shipped around the world twice to be manufactured on a ship that burns bunker oil is not “green”. You have to drive a Land Rover over 100k to be at the same net energy consumption as the Prius, due to the efficency of manufacturing. That is before you drive the Prius one mile! Once again do the research and look it up. Growing corn with tractors that run on diesel, then shipping it by truck that runs on diesel, then processing it, then shipping it again to be mixed with gasoline 10% to get a product with 15-20% less bang is madness! This is a net energy loss! Common sense has long left the reasoning in our energy policy, and there is no end in sight to the madness.

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