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Lawsuit over cattle deaths settled

The Billings County Pioneer of Medora, North Dakota

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MEDORA — A Billings County rancher and an oil company recently settled a lawsuit over the death of cattle from an alleged chemical spill.

Kim Shade, trustee for the Kim Shade Ranch Trust, filed a lawsuit in July 2014 that alleged that a spill of about 560 barrels of an unspecified chemical occurred at the O'Connell No. 1 oil and gas well on his property. The operator of the well is Continental Resources of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Shade alleged that he suffered a decline in livestock production with more than 15 percent of his calves lost as a result of exposure to the spill area.

But by this spring, Shade's attorney and Continental were working toward negotiating a settlement to discontinue the lawsuit. Continental agreed to pay Shade $9,000 to cover all claims, costs and legal fees, according to court records.

In exchange for the money, Shade agreed to release Continental and all others acting for or on its behalf from any and all claims, liabilities and causes of action, known or unknown, related to the spill.

However, in the agreement, Continental continued to deny any and all liability and wrongdoing.

"Nothing in this stipulation (agreement) shall be construed as an admission or concession of liability whatsoever by Continental regarding any of the allegations ..." the agreement that was signed by Shade's and Continental's attorneys said.

Southwest District Judge Zane Anderson approved of the agreement.

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Original Publication Date: July 30, 2015

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