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Gardendale Residents Take on Berry Oil

Heated hearing takes place in Ector Co. District Court
Odessa -- A court hearing takes place in Odessa as some Gardendale residents continue to fight all the drilling going on near there homes. It's been going on for roughly three years, and now they could be one step closer to trial.

Tuesday's hearing took place in Judge Whalen's courtroom in Ector County District Court. The plaintiffs, Shane Leverett and Paul Woods, are both longtime Gardendale residents that have been fighting this for quite sometime. The defendant is Berry Oil.

Berry Oil, who wouldn't comment on camera, was asking for documents including personal income tax returns, flight records, and scientific testing and lab analysis, some of which the plaintiffs say has already been turned over.

The plaintiff's attorney feels like this case has implications beyond Gardendale.

"This is a historic case in that it's going to test what Texas law does to protect a surface owner when someone is drilling a large multiple of wells on his property," said attorney Steve Hershberger, who is representing Woods and Leverett.

Both plaintiffs will have to turn over their personal tax returns, but part of Judge Whalen's motion to compel was to keep that information confidential.

Again, Judge Whalen also asked for lab results and flight records. Berry's attorney alleged one of the plaintiffs flew over an airfield getting dangerously close to a frac operation.

Tuesday was the fifth hearing since all this began and several more are expected before the case goes to trial. We'll keep you updated on the latest developments, and we'll also have more details from Tuesday's hearing in this week's Energy Report Thursday night at 10pm.

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