A family in Texas won $3m in damages from an energy company operating nearby their home after they claimed the shale gas operation damaged their health.

The Parrs said their property had also been damaged by Aruba Petroleum's shale gas extraction, in which the controversial fracking process is used.

Among the health claims were rashes, nosebleeds, nausea and depression. The family also said they could not drink the water because it was contaminated. And it affected the family's livestock too, with one of the calves being born a dwarf.

But Aruba's lawyers argued that they were just one of several shale gas operations within two miles and that it was impossible to pin the blame on one specific firm. Aruba plans to appeal the judgement.

"They're vindicated," said David Matthews, whose Matthews & Associates law firm represented the Parrs.

"I'm really proud of the family that went through what they went through and said, 'I'm not going to take it anymore'.

"It takes guts to say, 'I'm going to stand here and protect my family from an invasion of our right to enjoy our property'. It's not easy to go through a lawsuit and have your personal life uncovered and exposed to the extent this family went through."

The Dallas County Court verdict included $275,000 for the Parr's property loss of market value and $2m (£1.2m, €1.45m) for past physical pain and suffering by Bob and Lisa Parr and their daughter, $250,000 for future physical pain and suffering, and $400,000 for past mental anguish.

Shale gas has boomed in the US and the industry has lowered energy bills for many households.

Attempts are being made in the UK to exploit the vast shale gas reserves under parts of the country, though it is not yet known how much can be extracted at commercial levels.

But there is vocal opposition amid fears that the fracking process will contaminate the water table.

A report by Water UK, which represents water companies, said there is little risk of contamination from shale gas operations because of tough regulations around the industry.