MIAMI, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Attorneys Howard Rosen and Patricia Donlevy-Rosen, who focus their practice on asset protection planning, routinely identify sources of liability for individuals with high net worth. The latest issue of the firm's newsletter, The Asset Protection News™, discusses the liability exposure of landowners deriving income from fracking. Link to newsletter: http://trustne.ws/nd63q.
Fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is a controversial drilling process that involves forcing fluids at high pressure into geologic formations containing oil and gas. Countless news articles, web sites, and documentaries have chronicled the side effects of this process, which include ground water contamination, radioactive wastewater run-off, seismic events, and methane-based explosions of homes and wells. Oil and gas companies are raking in the profits from this process, as are the landowners granting oil and gas subsurface lease rights.
"Fracking is a litigation storm on the horizon," said Rosen, who was also an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law for twenty years. "Oil and gas companies are going to be targets of mass litigation for the very foreseeable consequences of this practice, but for them this liability is a calculated cost of doing business," said Rosen. "The same can't be said for landowners, who are our concern," said Donlevy-Rosen. She pointed out that all fifty states acknowledge the liability of landowners for activities on their land. "If the oil and gas company with a subsurface lease fails to conduct the fracking to acceptable safety standards, the landowner may be liable," she continued. "At some point a plaintiff will realize that his neighbor is an easier source of compensation than the oil and gas conglomerate who can bury him in years of litigation."
Current cases support their conclusion. In a suit filed in 2011, Berish v. Southwestern Energy Production Co., numerous residents of a town alleged that Southwestern Energy's fracking led to serious health conditions. Four years later, the suit is ongoing. In his review of this case, Rosen explained that the complaint alleges "subsurface fracking conducted on an adjacent property to that of the plaintiffs is the source of the harmful toxins. If I was their attorney I would look hard at the landowner as a source of compensation before committing to a decade of litigation with Southwestern Energy."
Rosen and Donlevy-Rosen strongly recommend that landowners who derive income from fracking implement asset protection planning strategies now. Rosen warned that "professionals with clients earning income from fracking have an ethical obligation to discuss these issues before it is too late."
Direct link to article: http://trustne.ws/nd63q
Berish v. Southwestern Energy Production Co. – Text of Order on Motion to Dismiss: http://trustne.ws/eutst
About Donlevy-Rosen & Rosen, P.A.
Donlevy-Rosen & Rosen, P.A. is law firm with a national practice focused on asset protection planning and offshore trusts. Attorneys Howard Rosen and Patricia Donlevy-Rosen co-founded the firm in 1991, and have since become internationally recognized authorities in the field of asset protection planning. On the web: http://protectyou.com.
About Patricia Donlevy-Rosen, Esq.
Donlevy-Rosen is the author of "Asset Protection Planning," a Tax Advisors Planning Series book published by Research Institute of America. She concentrates her practice in the protection of immovable assets such as real estate. Full bio: http://trustne.ws/pdr.
About Howard Rosen, Esq.
Rosen, an attorney and Certified Public Accountant, is the founding author of the BNA Tax Management Portfolio "Asset Protection Planning" (1994, 2002), and is considered an authority on offshore asset protection planning. Rosen was an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law for twenty years. Full bio: http://trustne.ws/hdr.
Media Contact: Sam Phillips, Donlevy-Rosen & Rosen, P.A., 800-714-7134, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE Donlevy-Rosen & Rosen, P.A.