On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court granted a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Antero Resources, et al. v. Strudley, et al. The Strudley case involves claims relating to alleged injuries from natural gas drilling operations near the Strudley’s home in Silt, Colorado. The Strudley’s case was dismissed by the district court after it entered a Lone Pine Order requiring the Strudleys to present prima facie evidence in support of their claims. When they failed to do so, the district court dismissed the case with prejudice. The Colorado Court of Appeals reversed, finding that Lone Pine Order were prohibited as a matter of law in Colorado.
The Colorado Supreme Court will now consider two issues. First, whether a district court in Colorado is barred as a matter of law from entering a modified case management order requiring a plaintiff to produce evidence essential to his or her claims after initial disclosures but before further discovery is allowed. Second, assuming such a modified case management order is allowed, whether the district court acted within its discretion in entering and enforcing such an order.
The Strudley case has garnered significant attention. A number of interested parties, including the Colorado Petroleum Association, filed amicus briefs asking the Court to hear the case. In addition to the arguments raised by the named parties, a number of friends of the court briefs are likely to be filed for and against the issue as the case moves forward. We will continue to monitor this case at the North America Shale Blog.