Texas company settles Oklahoma pollution lawsuit

A Texas-based oil field service company has settled a lawsuit with more than 100 southern Oklahoma residents who allege their homes and businesses were damaged by groundwater contamination caused by the company.

Halliburton Energy Services acknowledges the pollution but disputes the allegations of property damage, The Journal Record reported.

Two subsidiaries of the company in Oklahoma performed industrial cleaning on missile parts and deconstructed radioactive equipment from a nuclear power plant decades ago. The company didn't properly clean up the site after the contract work was completed in 1990.

Now, the company has a cleanup project in process that the state's environmental authority is supervising.

Halliburton spokeswoman Emily Mir said the company is pleased that the cases have been resolved.

Plaintiffs' attorney David P. Page said most of his clients were satisfied with the settlement.

"We were about three weeks from the trial, it was a very hard-fought case, very complicated with many moving parts," Page said.

Deputy General Counsel and Senior Vice President James Ferguson negotiated the settlement agreement with the property owners. He was involved in some of the company's widely publicized cases, including the BP Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Page said he was pleased Halliburton sent Ferguson to the settlement conference.

"I felt like it would be a serious negotiation because he's been involved in serious cases," Page said. "I'm pleased with the outcome and with the precedents set by the court."

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Information from: The Journal Record, http://www.journalrecord.com