On August 29, 2013, Antero Resources asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review the Colorado Court of Appeal’s decision in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., a decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court’s order dismissing a toxic court case involving alleged injuries relating to hydraulic fracturing.

In Strudley, the plaintiffs claim that they were injured as a result of drilling operations, including hydraulic fracturing, near their home in Silt, Colorado.  The trial court entered a “Lone Pine” order that required plaintiffs to present prima facie evidence in support of their claims before the plaintiffs could proceed with full discovery.  When they failed to do so, the trial court dismissed the case.  The Court of Appeals, however, reversed the trial court holding that under Colorado law, Lone Pine orders are not authorized as a matter of law.

In its petition, Antero has asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review and reverse the Court of Appeal’s decision because the Court of Appeal’s decision is inconsistent with existing Colorado precedent and the stated goals for the Colorado court system—to ensure the just, speedy and inexpensive resolution of disputes.  Given that the Colorado Supreme Court recently adopted a pilot program entitled the Civil Access Pilot Project to streamline access to the courts and ensure active case management by trial court judges, the Colorado Supreme Court may use the Strudley case as an opportunity to further define the role that trial court judges should having in proactively managing discovery in complex cases.

The Colorado Petroleum Association, the Colorado Defense League and the Colorado Civil Justice League have all filed briefs with the Colorado Supreme Court urging the Court to hear the case.  We will continue to follow developments in this case and report them on the North American Shale Blog.

Prior coverage of the Strudley decision can be found here.