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The opinion of the court was delivered by This was an action in tort to recover damages resulting from the negligence of the appellants, R.L. Mendenhall and Betty L. Mendenhall, in allowing oil to escape from a well located in a pasture where the plaintiff's cattle were pastured under the terms of a written contract with the defendant Lois Harris. The Mendenhalls are residents of Emporia, Lyon County, and the defendant Lois Harris resides at Cambridge, Cowley County. The action was filed in Cowley County and was tried by a jury which returned a verdict against the defendants Mendenhall in the sum of $3,000, but found in favor of the defendant Lois Harris. Service of summons was not had upon Seth W. Herndon and he was not a party to the action. The Mendenhalls are the sole appellants. Pertinent portions of the evidence are summarized: The Schroeder pasture leased by Harris to the plaintiffs during the pasture season of 1958 is located partly in Elk County and partly in Cowley County. During the latter part of 1954 the appellants acquired an oil and gas lease on that part of the Schroeder pasture located in Elk County and drilled a marginal producing well on the leasehold in March or April, 1955. The well was pumped for a time, and was abandoned and plugged in January 1958 under the direction of the state plugger, an employee of the Conservation Division of the State Corporation Commission. In the early part of March, 1958, the casing, tubing and rods were pulled, and while still covered with oil were stacked near the well location. When the well was drilled a slush pond about ten or twelve feet wide and twenty to thirty feet long was dug near the well site which was used in drilling the well. The pond was not used again until the well was plugged when mud and water were mixed and used for circulation to ease the pulling of the casing. The tank battery was located south of the well site on top of a hill and was plainly visible. A graveled road ran through the pasture from which the well site could be seen, but to inspect the well one had to leave the graveled road.

Professional & Technical
January 21
LawApp Publishers
Innodata Book Distribution Services Inc

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