The following information is generated from emails received from Donna Getz, who alleges that Shell has poisoned herself and her husband as a result of gas flaring. This article has been updated with related correspondence, including a letter from Shell, plus Medical Reports and Gas Flaring and Gas Analysis Reports.
Donna sought the intervention of the Oil and Gas Commission Board in Canada only to discover that Shell has a representative on the board. She is seeking justice and according to our expert sources appears to have a strong case. Donna urgently needs good legal representation on a “no win no fee” basis. Her email address is available on request from John Donovan: [email protected]
Extract from comments received from an expert who has seen the evidence: “Shell tested and flared gas from their well under inappropriate meteorological conditions, in violation of their flaring permits, either deliberately or through negligence. The end result was the harm suffered by the Getzs.”
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 Shells 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 doesnt 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 havent 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 couldnt 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 husbands 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, isnt it. Its like asking the fox to take care of the chickens!!
Thank you for your time.
Latest comments from a former employee of Shell Oil USA who has read the information accessible via the links below:
Shell tested and flared gas from their well under inappropriate meteorological conditions, in violation of their flaring permits, either deliberately or through negligence. The end result was the harm suffered by the Getz’s.
Donna Getz needs to get herself a good attorney if she can find one. This issue here is very straight-forward. I have no doubt also that Shell has probably been interfering with her right to legal counsel, i.e., they have co-opted her attorney in some fashion. I have had that problem myself, so I know that Shell is not above that sort of thing.
The data on gas composition are clear, and the flaring permits are clear as to what Shell’s responsibilities were. She now needs to take them to task.
These people have clearly been victimized more than once and deserve some sort of justice. But when you consider how Shell has treated the Nigerians, it comes as no surprise that they have taken this approach to dealing with the Getz’s.
GetzLetterFromShell18Feb2004 Letter Donna received in February 2004 from Lorraine Goobie of Shell Canada
GetzLetterRichardNeufeld24Mar04 Donna Getz letter to Canadian politicians Richard Neufield and Blair Lekstrom
GetzOleMedicalReport20Apri2004 Medical Report dated 30 April 2004 written by Professor Jeremy Beach
GetzDonnaMedicalReport20Apr04 Medical Report dated 30 April 2004 written by Professor Jeremy Beach
GetzEvictionNotice10July2004 Eviction Notice the Getz family received in July 2004 due to the intervention of Shell