Range Resources Corp. won a Texas appeals court's permission to pursue defamation and business disparagement claims against a Parker County landowner who accused the company of fouling his water well.In a ruling last week, the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth let stand two of Range's claims against Steven Lipsky, who sued the company in June 2011 and was countersued a month later.The appeals panel also ordered the Weatherford trial court to dismiss all of Range's claims against Lipsky's wife, Shyla, and Alisa Rich, an environmental consultant for the Lipskys.It also set aside Range's claims against Steven Lipsky of aiding and abetting and civil conspiracy.Lipsky's suit came after the Environmental Protection Agency issued an administrative order in December 2010 saying the gas producer was responsible for contaminating Lipsky's water with dangerous levels of methane and benzene, which can cause cancer.The EPA withdrew its order in 2012 after Range challenged its findings and the Texas Railroad Commission found that the gas in Lipsky's well was most likely from a different source.Range had alleged that the Lipskys and Rich conspired to persuade the EPA to intervene. Brent Rosenthal, a lawyer for the Lipskys, declined to comment on the ruling.Matt Pitzarella, a Range spokesman, said in an email that the company is pleased with the ruling that it has a "valid claim against Mr. Lipsky and we look forward to the opportunity to present our case in court."The company is seeking $3 million in damages.Rich and the Lipskys had asked state District Judge Trey Loftin to throw out Range's countersuit because it violated a Texas law prohibiting so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs. The law bans litigation meant to stifle public protest.Loftin rejected that argument in February 2012. The case was appealed, and the appeals court ruled in August that it lacked jurisdiction to overturn the judge's ruling. The panel instead said it would hear a petition for an order blocking the lower court from enforcing the ruling."We conclude that the trial court did not clearly abuse its discretion by determining that Range had presented clear and specific evidence to establish a prima facie case for each essential element of its defamation and business disparagement claims against Steven Lipsky," the appeals court wrote.