Important Update: Following the hearing on April 27, 2021, the Court granted final approval to the settlement and entered orders awarding fees, expenses, and the case contribution award, and approving an Initial Plan of Allocation Order. Copies of these documents are available for download from the Important Documents page.
What is the Settlement About?
The Litigation seeks damages for Defendant’s alleged underpayment of royalty due Plaintiff and Class Members on production of gas and its constituents from the Class Wells. Defendant denies any and all liability related to Plaintiff’s allegations and further states that neither Plaintiff nor any of the Class Members are entitled to the relief sought in the Litigation and further states that it would not be appropriate to award any type of damages, an accounting, disgorgement, or injunctive relief to the Class Members. Defendant further denies it would be appropriate to certify a contested class based on the facts and claims at issue in the Litigation. The Court has made no determination with respect to any of the Parties’ claims or defenses.
What does the Settlement provide?
In consideration of the Settlement, Defendant has agreed to pay $10,000,000.00 in cash. The Settlement, if approved, will result in the dismissal of the Complaint and all amendments to the Complaint against Defendant and the release by all Settlement Class Members of all the Released Claims the Releasing Parties may have against the Released Parties. The Net Settlement Fund will be distributed to the Settlement Class Members who are not excluded from the Settlement Class in accordance with the provisions of the Allocation Methodology and Final Plan of Allocation, which is explained in FAQ 9.
Who is included?
The Settlement Class consists of all non-excluded persons or entities who are or were royalty owners in Defendant’s 126 Coal County Gathering System wells (“the Class Wells”) where Defendant was the operator. The Settlement Class Claims relate only to payment for gas and its constituents (residue gas, natural gas liquids, and drip gas) produced from the wells for production months October 1, 2001 through May 31, 2015. The Settlement Class does not include overriding royalty owners or other owners who derive their interest through the oil and gas lessee. A list of the persons or entities excluded from the Class can be found in the Long-Form Notice, which is available for download from the Important Documents page.