Schneberger v. Apache Corp.

890 P.2d 847 (1994)

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Schneberger v. Apache Corp.

Oklahoma Supreme Court
890 P.2d 847 (1994)

Facts

Fred and Zola Schneberger (plaintiffs) leased land to Apache Corporation (defendant), which drilled oil and gas wells on the property. Apache’s drilling contaminated the Schnebergers’ water supply. The Schnebergers sued Apache in federal court but settled the case when Apache agreed to reduce contaminants to a stipulated level. A few years later, the Schnebergers returned to federal court, claiming that the contaminant level remained too high and that, therefore, Apache had breached the settlement agreement. The Schnebergers sought to recover the estimated $1.3 million cost of achieving the stipulated level of contaminants. Apache estimated that the loss in property value attributable to not reaching the stipulated level was only $5,170. The federal court submitted a certified question asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to rule on the proper measure of damages under Oklahoma law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lavender, J.)

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