Parker Waichman LLP Partners with Ohio Law Firm in Counterclaim Against Duck Creek Energy's Defamation LawsuitApr 4, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
Parker Waichman LLP has joined with Ohio-based law firm, Climaco, Wilcox, Peca, Tarantino & Garofoli Co., LPA, to file a counterclaim in a defamation lawsuit brought against two Ohio women by Duck Creek Energy, Inc. Duck Creek alleges that the defendants' voicing of concerns regarding the environmental and health impact of their municipality’s use of a road deicing product manufactured by Duck Creek Energy, Inc. constitutes defamation.
In their counterclaim, Tish O'Dell and Michelle Aini allege that Duck Creek's defamation lawsuit is an abuse of process. They further allege that the purpose of the suit was to prevent concerned citizens from exercising their first amendment right of free speech and right to petition their government.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ms. O'Dell and Ms. Aini have campaigned against the use of the deicing product called AquaSalina™, a saline product derived from brine produced at oil and gas wells. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,AquaSalina™ contains benzene, a known human carcinogen, in an amount of 7.04 ppm and the maximum allowable level of benzene in drinking water pursuant to Environmental Protection Agency regulations is 5 ppm.
Duck Creek asserts that the deicer is not made with frack water, but rather salty water that follows during the extraction of gas. The company filed against the women on March 20 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court alleging claims for defamation, tortious interference with business relations and tortious interference with prospective business relations.
Parker Waichman LLP and its partner firm have pledged to "vigorously defend Ms. O’Dell and Ms. Aini against Duck Creek Energy, Inc.’s unabashed attempt to stifle their clients’ First Amendment Rights to petition their government regard the use and dispersal of AquaSalina™ on municipal roadways and other driving surfaces and the potential environmental and health effects such dispersal may have."