Chesapeake Settlement Of One Royalties Lawsuit Won't Stop Other Suits From Proceeding
The proposed $11 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving payments to natural gas leaseholders will not affect the viability of two pending lawsuits that raise similar claims, attorneys representing the plaintiffs said.
Thomas McNamara, attorney for plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed last month by the A&B Campbell Family LLC Trust, and Robert Schaub, attorney for leaseholders represented in a suit filed in June by the Suessenbach Family LP, said their lawsuits will continue regardless of the outcome of the proposed settlement between Chesapeake Appalachia and Demchak Partners.
Attorneys for Demchak Partners filed a motion in December asking a federal judge to approve a revised settlement that would resolve a dispute with leaseholders who have “market enhancement” clauses in their leases — a provision Chesapeake contends allows it to deduct from leaseholders royalty payments any post-production costs associated with gas extracted through Marcellus Shale drilling.
The settlement revises a deal reached in August 2013 that would have paid leaseholders $7.5 million. The new agreement increases the payment to $11 million and includes other financial benefits beyond the initial deal. It is now before U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion, who must decide whether to approve it. If it is OK’d, all Pennsylvania leaseholders who have market enhancement clauses would be subject to its terms unless they opt out of the settlement.
Mr. Schaub said he does not believe the Demchak settlement, as it now stands, will impact the Suessenbach case because none of his clients have market enhancement clauses.Read more by clicking here.
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