Judge Approves Questioning of Schlumberger Employee and Resident

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

A small victory for folks living in Midland County after a judge says their lawyer can question people in connection to contaminated water.

Midland County Judge John Hyde of the 238th District Court announced on Wednesday he would allow local attorney Brian Carney to question a Schlumberger employee and a county resident under oath.

The deposition lawsuit is to find out if Schlumberger had any hand in the Chromium 6 contamination of several Midland County resident's water.

Carney announced they were filing a deposition lawsuit just last month to question several Schlumberger employees about the company's use of the chemical.

While Carney wanted to interview a total of nine employees, the judge ruled there was only reason to question Schlumberger's field supervisor in Midland and county resident Tom Terrett.

All along, Schlumberger has said it never used Chromium 6 or hexavalent chromium at their Midland plant.

Families in Midland County have been dealing with chromium contaminated water since last year. The families as well as environmental activist Erin Brockovich believe Schlumberger is responsible for the contamination.

They hope the deposition lawsuit will help them uncover evidence they could use in an additional lawsuit.

Schlumberger has issued the following statement to NewsWest 9, "We are pleased with what we consider to be a fair and timely decision handed down by the court today. As long-time residents of the Midland community, Schlumberger and its employees have a sincere interest in the health and safety of our neighbors. With that in mind, Schlumberger remains ready to engage with others who are seeking solutions that will provide clean drinking water to the residents of Cotton Flat. We have seriously considered and investigated the concerns of our neighbors and have been a committed partner working with the TCEQ and EPA to determine the true source of the Cotton Flat water contamination. Based on the evidence available to date, including the TCEQ's October report detailing their findings, Schlumberger is not the source of the hexavalent chromium found in the aquifer serving the Cotton Flat neighborhood. As this moves forward, we will continue to cooperate with authorities and will rely on science and facts and avoid speculation. We would encourage everyone involved to do the same."

Families in Midland County have been dealing with the chromium contaminated water since last year. The families as well as environmental activist Erin Brockovich believe Schlumberger is responsible for the contamination.

They hope the deposition lawsuit will help them uncover evidence they could use in an additional lawsuit.