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September 19, 2012

Class-action lawsuit filed against a pipeline company in Glencoe wildfire

STILLWATER, Okla. — Lawyers representing Glencoe residents filed a class-action lawsuit in Payne County District Court against pipeline owners and contractors claiming worker negligence led to a massive August wildfire that burned thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes.

The Chickasha-based attorneys and their clients are seeking at least $75,000 in actual damages, and an unspecified amount in punitative damages.

The lawsuit alleges pipeline workers employed by Global Pipeline Construction, L.L.C. behaved negligently and violated burn bans while grinding and welding on Aug. 4. Court records show Parnon Gathering, a Tulsa crude oil logistics company, contracted Global to do the work.

The pipeline was being built on and near the three plaintiff's properties — all of which sustained damage, according to court documents.

The fire burned  2,000 acres and destroyed at least 17 homes, fire officials said. The Payne County Sheriff's Department and State Fire Marshal investigated the wildfire but could not determine the cause.

Pipeline workers questioned by the sheriff's department stated they did not see the fire ignite. The report shows workers said they had taken precautions to prevent a fire and attempted to put it out with fire extinguishers.


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