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Friday, October 30, 2015

Class Action Suit in Ohio Alleges Chesapeake Cheated Landowners Out of Over $30 Million in Royalties

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
An Akron woman and two farms in Columbiana County have sued subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy Corp. for allegedly cheating hundreds of landowners out of more than $30 million in royalties. 
The proposed class-action suit accuses Chesapeake Operating of improperly deducting costs from royalty payments and of violating lease agreements with landowners by selling oil and gas at below-market prices. 
The suit against Chesapeake Operating was filed Monday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. 
The plaintiffs in the suit include Evelyn Frances Young of West Akron, a trustee of the Robert Milton Young Trust. 
Robert M. Young, 81, a retired legal counsel for the International Chemical Workers Union in Akron for 30 years, died in 2007. 
The Youngs had leased gas and mineral rights on 166 acres in Carroll County for drilling. The initial lease was with Anschutz Exploration Corp. It was later taken over by Chesapeake. 
Joining Young is suing were Hanover Farms LP and the Zehentbauer Family Land LP, both near Hanoverton. 
Defendants named in the suit include three Chesapeake companies, plus Total E&P USA, Pelican Energy LLC and Jamestown Resources LLC. 
The plaintiffs’ three leases only allowed deductions from royalty payments for taxes, not for drilling expenses, the 30-page suit says.
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