A judge in northeastern Pennsylvania will allow the state attorney general’s office to proceed with a major lawsuit accusing two natural gas companies of cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of shale gas royalties and fair leases.
In an order published Friday in Bradford County Court, Senior Judge Kenneth Brown rejected nearly all of the preliminary objections that were filed by Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in an attempt to get the case dismissed at its early stages.
Most significantly, the judge found that the state’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law applies in this case even though the harmed parties — the landowners — are technically the sellers in the transaction, not the consumers generally protected by the law.
But Judge Brown certified his conclusion on that issue and one other issue for immediate appeal to the Commonwealth Court, saying that it would be best for the state’s appeals courts to settle those novel questions of law before more time and money is spent on the case.The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.
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