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Product liability of Bakken oil in Montana

The Bakken oil formation extends into Montana, and its shale is a regular source of crude oil. Most often, this crude oil is harvested and transported via train and pumped through the popular Line 9 pipe, which extends through Montana as well as a few other states and into international territory. The product liability of Montana Bakken oil could be extreme due to its toxic properties and flammability risks. A person who is injured by the inappropriate storage or transport of the crude oil may seek restitution for product liability.

Reports indicate that the oil derived from the Montana Bakken shale has a unique combination of properties that has been revealed through recent catastrophes. Mislabeling and transport of the oil has caused extensive damage to surrounding areas and killed dozens of people. The highly dangerous qualities of this particular kind of crude oil make it enormously flammable and toxic to humans, leading regulators to believe that this oil is potentially more corrosive and flammable than other oils found in the United States.

Labeling crude oil incorrectly or transporting it in a way that does not respect the risk factors can put many workers and residents in extreme danger, creating product liability. Currently, there are no safety regulations in place for special care of highly toxic oil, nor are the effects the oil has on the pipeline known. Remnants of chemicals used in blasting may corrode pipelines if not properly removed from the crude oil before allowing it to hit the pipeline.

Exposure to hydrogen sulphide, which can be found in crude oil from blasting past certain levels can be highly explosive and can even cause death to those who come in contact with it. The product liability of Bakken oil has the potential to be extensive. A resident of Montana who has been harmed by this defective product could pursue legal action to repair the financial damage they may have suffered due to their injury.

Source:, The burning question about Bakken oil: Is it safe enough to transport?, Jessica McDiarmid, Dec. 13, 2013

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