Fracking Company Sues Homeowner With Flammable Water For Alleged Defamation


by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq./

Steve Lipsky of Weatherford, Texas, was a happy homeowner until 2010, when he discovered that his water well was contaminated with gas.  The contamination was so widespread, that Mr. Lipsky was able to light his water on fire and did so for official demonstration purposes only.   As a result of the gas contamination, Mr. Lipsky was forced to shut off the well to his house and import water at an average cost of $1,000 per month.

In 2011 the EPA determined that the cause of Mr. Lipsky’s well contamination, was the drilling activities of Range Resources at a nearby fracking facility.  Range Resources, instead of compensating Mr. Lipsky for his damages, decided to sue Mr. Lipsky for more than three million dollars alleging defamation.  In October 2013, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals ruled that Range Resources may move forward with their defamation suit, which claims that Mr. Lipsky misled the public about being able to set his water on fire.  Mr. Lipsky’s battle has been a high stakes game of intimidation, compromised health and judicial bias.  Although Mr. Lipsky continues his legal fight against Range Resources, capitulation may be near as his financial well is running dry.

In the state of New York, now that Governor Cuomo is seriously considering the use of hydraulic fracturing, residents fear that they too will soon be in the battle of their lives.  Many are worried that Governor Cuomo will fail to wake up and smell the fracking coffee under his nose.  It appears that we now live in a country ruled not by the President, but by corporate domination and greed.  What will become of the Steve Lipskys of America?  Do the words equity and justice, no longer have any significant meaning?  Perhaps we have simply evolved into a current day corporate form of natural selection.  The problem is, it is unlikely that any of us will be fit enough to survive.

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.

Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Paul A. Lauto, Esq. completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY at Stony Brook in 1987, with a major in political science and a double minor in socio-legal studies and moral-legal issues in philosophy. Mr. Lauto received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to practice in the courts of New York State, as well as the Eastern and Southern Districts of the United States District Court.

Mr. Lauto has primarily focused on personal injury throughout his career and previously worked as in-house counsel to a major insurance company. In 2002 Mr. Lauto established Paul A. Lauto, PLLC, with a primary concentration on personal injury, all types of accident cases, Wills, Trusts and Estates and more. Paul is the sole author of his Scales of Justice blog, which provides updates and information about current legal stories in the news and how they may affect our lives. Mr. Lauto prides himself on providing clients maximum results, with a high level of personal attorney service and attention that is uncommon in the profession. For more information please visit