The following information is generated from emails received from Donna Getz, who makes self explanatory allegations against Shell and other parties.
BY DONNA GETZ
Read your articles about Royal Dutch Shell. It makes me sick what they can get away with.
I am going to tell you what happened to myself and my family.
We were caretaking a ranch near Tumbler Ridge, BC about six years ago. We were looking after their horses and ours. We never received payment for this.
Unknown to us, Shell Oil was drilling a well 3 km across country from us.
When they started to flare the well, something went wrong. We got hurt from this. The spruce trees had golden patches on them, the leaves on the cottonwood turned upside down, the game left or died. Four of our horses died over time from this and we have one that is still wheezing from it. I have 30% lungs left, my husband and daughter 50% left. Our truck we had at the time, rusted out on one side.
The Oil and Gas Commission came out and took pictures, etc. They told me to forget about my face, my family and animals because Shell was putting money into the community, they were staying in the hotels, eating at restaurants and spending time in the pubs. I have letters from two politicians, Blair Lekstrom and Richard Neufeld (now a senator) saying the same thing.
Shell flew me to Edmonton to specialists. They told me I was okay. While I was there, the Shell rep took the specialists aside and talked to them. Later on they received money from Shell. Did I get a good report or a bought report?
We later went to specialists on our own and found out that we lost lung function. We also found out that when the specialist was flushing our lungs out that the saline solution turned to a white foam. He told us we could not live by the ocean or be near it for long as this foam would form in our lungs. We cannot live in the gas fields.
We obtained a lawyer, Brian Sutton from Naniamo, BC. He led us on for over five years then told us we did not have enough money to fight Shell. He wanted to get off the case. We tried to get a second opinion and no lawyer in BC will look at the case or talk to us. In the mean time, Shell put it into court and the judge said we had to pay Shell costs. Their lawyer just sent us a bill. We have no money, no lawyer and no law. I talked to Shell’s lawyer after we received the bill.
I took Brian Sutton to the Law Society of BC and they found lots of wrong doings. They are disciplining him but that still doesn’t help us. We do not know where to go from here.
We were shocked by what we read on your website. We will never buy Shell products and haven’t for a long time.
Go ahead and publish, it cannot do any more harm to us. It may even help us and other people. We are going to start letting it be known all over the world. It is sad when a company like Shell can make it so a person who is hurt by them has no recourse. Besides what they did with the flaring, they wanted to go back in the same hole to fix what went wrong but couldn’t do it while we were there so they had us run out of Tumber Ridge. We had no money and no place to go. My husband’s disabled sister in Norway gave us some money to move away.
The people who had the ranch threw us out. They figured that Shell, Western Canada Coal and Encana were going to pay them money for the ranch. They ended up with nothing, they cannot even stay overnight on the ranch.
Shell Oil has a rep on the Oil and Gas Commission Board. Good regulatory body for the gas companies, isn’t it. It’s like asking the fox to take care of the chickens!!
Thank you for your time.