Farmer claims oil, gas company damaged land

By Annie Cosby | Jan 22, 2015

A Jefferson County farmer is suing over claims farmland was damaged by an oil and gas company.

Cecil Slack, individually and doing business as Cecil Slack Farms, filed a lawsuit Oct. 27, 2014, in Jefferson County District Court against White Marlin Oil & Gas Co., citing negligence.

According to the complaint, Slack is a local rice farmer whose business, Cecil Slack Farms, grows and sells organic rice on land leased from Beaumont Rice Mills using water bought and provided through an irrigation ditch to irrigate the crops in the fields. Slack says in February 2014, the defendant's negligence and its failure to maintain its facilities caused hydrocarbons, chemicals and other pollutants to spill into the irrigation ditch and destroyed the plaintiff's farmland for organic rice production for at least three years. The defendant is accused of negligence or, in the alternative, trespassing or causing a nuisance.

Slack seeks more than $1 million in punitive and exemplary damages, lost profits, irrigation water expenses, costs of leases, interest and cots of court. Slack is represented by attorney David P. Wilson of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E-196309

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