The trial is scheduled to take place in Superior Court of California, Kern County, before Honorable Michael Bush. The trial is expected to last approximately 20 days.
Bakersfield farmer Fred Starrh sued Aera Energy, LLC in 2001 for trespass, alleging the oil company knowingly contaminated his farm's groundwater supply by pouring billions of barrels of waste water extracted from the nearby Belridge Fields oil production site into unlined percolation pits.
Starrh proposed a plan to restore the aquifer to its original condition, which would have cost over $2 billion, but a jury in Kern County Superior Court awarded only $7 million in damages. On appeal, Starrh's lawyers argued that the damages should potentially include money saved by Aera by not properly disposing the waste water. The Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno ordered a new trial on damages, noting that even if Aera had been forced to pay $1 per barrel instead of 1.5 cents per barrel to dispose of the waste water, Aera would still have had over $1 billion in profits. Aera and several industry associations unsuccessfully petitioned the California Supreme Court to allow the original $7 million award to stand.
Courtroom View Network will be providing gavel to gavel coverage of the trial, without commercials or commentary. With CVN’s online offering, attorneys and other industry observers will have the unique ability to view video, audio, and evidence of the entire trial online. CVN’s professional video footage enables viewers to follow proceedings from openings to closing arguments, evaluate expert witness testimony, and review digital evidence presented.
Courtroom View Network has covered hundreds of legal proceedings across the country. Examples of past proceedings include In Re: Vioxx Litigation, Jose Adolfo Tellez et al v. Dole Food Company Inc et al and Norman Turner v. Chevron Corporation.
Courtroom View Network’s live webcast of the Starrh v Aera Energy trial is available for purchase on its website. The trial will also be made available via On-Demand or DVD-ROM.
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