Concerns raised regarding EnCana's "extraordinarily deficient" disclosure of records in Rosebud fracing water contamination case

ROSEBUD, AB, March 31, 2015 /CNW/ - Plaintiff Jessica Ernst is raising serious concerns regarding blatant, widespread and systemic deficiencies in Encana's disclosure of records, including Encana's failure to disclose key records in a landmark lawsuit against EnCana, Alberta Environment and the Energy Resources Conservation Board (now AER) regarding water contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.

"To be frank, EnCana's disclosure was embarrassingly pathetic – it was an incomplete, disorganized, error-laden, repetitive and insulting mess that wastes everyone's time and money, including the Court's," said Jessica Ernst. "This is yet another example of the disrespect with which Encana treats regular Albertans, and a further indication of how difficult it is for individuals to stand up to large corporations in court."

The blatantly deficient nature of the List of Records filed by EnCana will make it very difficult for the court to understand the case, and have the very real effect of causing considerable delay and increasing costs on all sides.  According to the Foundational Rules of the Alberta Rules of Court, full disclosure of documents by parties named in a lawsuit "provide a means by which claims can be fairly and justly resolved in or by a court process in a timely and cost effective way."

Most concerning are key documents that are missing from EnCana's disclosure.  In particular, Encana failed to disclose:

  • records regarding hundreds of gas wells fractured in drinking water zones at Rosebud;
  • the chemicals used by EnCana at hundreds of wells near Rosebud; and
  • investigations into other contaminated water wells in the Rosebud Area.

Ms. Ernst's lawyers have written to EnCana's lawyers noting that in light of Encana's "extraordinarily deficient disclosure," the only reasonable solution is for EnCana to redo its disclosure of records.  A copy of the letter outlining the severe and widespread deficiencies in detail can be found here: http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015-03-27-Klippensteins-letter-to-Oslers-Ernst-v-EnCana-Disclosure-of-Records.pdf.

French Translation at http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/the-lawsuit.

SOURCE Klippensteins

For further information: Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors: Murray Klippenstein / Cory Wanless, (416) 598-0288; Jessica Ernst: 1-403-677-2074, contact@jessicaernst.ca

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