Cabot seeks $5M in suit against Dimo man, lawyers

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, along with GasSearch Driling Services has filed a civil suit against a Dimock man and a Missouri-based law firm.
The complaint was filed Monday, Aug. 7, in the Civil Division of the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas.
Cabot and GDS are seeking actual damages resulting from the filing of alleged frivolous litigation against Cabot and GDS.
Dimock Twp. resident Raymond Kemble was named in the suit, as was the Speer Law Firm, Fellerman & Ciarimboli, specifically naming lawyers Charles Speer, Clancy Boylan, and Edward Ciaramboli.
Cabot also cited Kemble’s “breach of settlement agreement with Cabot and GDS and are looking to recover $5 million in punitive damages.
According to court documents filed Monday, Speer teamed up with Ciarimboli, Boylan and F&C in 2012 to commence nuisance claims against natural gas operators in Pennsylvania.
One of their Pennsylvania clients included Kemble, who sued Cabot and GDS in 2009 and settled his claim in 2012.
“Following the 2012 settlement agreement, Kemble spent the next five years breaching its terms,” reads a statement in the court filing.
The suit alleges that despite knowing Kemble settled his claims against the gas company, his lawyers filed a 24-page complaint against Cabot and GDS in April 2017 in the Middle District Court of Pennsylvania.
Cabot attorneys allege the April filing “included irrelevant and inflammatory allegations designed to harass Cabot and GDS, attract media attention, poison the community and jury pool…, and extort payment from Cabot and GDS when no legitimate claims existed.”
According to the complaint, Speer worked in Missouri filing nuisance suits on behalf of landowners against pig farm operations. After changes to that state’s law, the suit claims Speer switched his focus from “pigs to rigs” and the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. He joined up with Pennsylvania attorneys Ciaramboli, Boylan and their law firm, F&C.
In the complaint, Cabot cites presentations and a social media posting by the attorneys looking for clients for nuisance actions in 2012.
Those activities, according to court documents, resulted in numerous cases being filed by Speer Law and F&C from 2013 through 2016.
In Kemble’s 2011 deposition in his 2009 suit against Cabot, according to the complaint, he testified in detail about alleged damages – “destruction of his water supply, complete devaluation of his property, and nuisance from dust, noise and trucks” – issues he brought forth again in the April 2017 filing.
Kemble, however, had entered into a confidential settlement agreement with Cabot and GDS on July 20, 2012 which included a cash payment.
As part of the agreement, according to the complaint filed by Cabot this week, Kemble agreed to release Cabot and GDS from any and all claims existing at the time of settlement… raised in action or not; and “that he would not make any statement or comment to any third party, including the media, concerning Cabot or GDS;” experiences with the companies; alleged environmental consequences of Cabot’s or GDS’s natural gas activities; or the “alleged past and present condition of his water supply and property.”
But the Monday filing by Cabot claims Kemble’s lawyers began their representation and announced in July 2013 their intent to initiate a second litigation against Cabot and GDS.
The court filing details allegations made by Kemble, that Cabot claims were settled in the prior agreement.
Cabot also maintains that the federal court does not have jurisdiction over the suit filed in April. And on June 7, Kemble’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to the federal rule of civil procedure and have not refiled the case in state court to date.
The complaint filed by Cabot also cites examples of Kemble’s statements to media and at public events and forums.
In addition to counts sought against Kemble’s attorneys, Cabot is also seeking a permanent injunction against Kemble citing a “continued” breach of the settlement agreement.
Cabot is looking to collect $75,000 in damages for costs and attorneys’ fees in defending the April 2017 lawsuit filed against them; and damages incurred by alleged breaches of the settlement agreement; as well as $5 million in punitive damages.
In the case filing, Cabot and GDS has demanded a jury trial. As of press time, no answer to the complaint had been filed.

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