Whitesburg KY

Couple, gas firm settle lawsuit just before trial starts

A Sergent couple agreed Tuesday to accept a natural gas drilling company’s offer to settle a lawsuit just before the issue was to go to trial.

The lawsuit filed by Kernel and Teresa Sexton charged Kinzer Drilling Company of Floyd County and Schlumberger Technology Corporation of Texas with destroying the couple’s water supply and property while two gas wells were being drilled near their home.

Details of the settlement, reached just before opening arguments were to be delivered before Special Letcher Circuit Judge William Engle early Tuesday afternoon, were expected to remain sealed.

The Sextons are being represented by Whitesburg attorney Ronald Polly.

A complaint filed by Polly on behalf of the couple charged that Kinzer and Schlumberger “by their operations of drilling and installing gas wells and pipelines . . . wrongfully and permanently cut off, damaged, contaminated and destroyed” the Sextons’ water supply and “totally destroyed (their) land so as to make it valueless” for any purpose.

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