Energy Companies Accused of Unfairly Withholding Gas Royalty Payments From Landowners
Landowners who entered into lease agreements with gas and energy companies, including Chesapeake Energy Corp, may be owed more royalties than they’re being paid.
The recent growth of the fracking industry has prompted thousands of landowners across the United States to lease land to companies for gas extraction. However, some energy companies have been accused of illegally subtracting costs from royalty payments made to landowners, at times withholding up to 90% of a payment. Chesapeake Energy Corp is among the companies that have been accused of withholding royalty payments, prompting landowners in Pennsylvania to bring a class action lawsuit against the company, according to court documents.
Complaints show that lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, New York, Virginia, and Kentucky. A recent $7.5 million settlement in Pennsylvania saw fourteen landowners receive compensation from Chesapeake Energy Corp for unpaid gas royalties. In this case, plaintiffs claimed that the company allegedly withheld payments to cover gathering costs.
Some lawsuits have also alleged that royalty payments are artificially reduced when companies sell extracted gas at below-market value to subsidiaries of the same company, paying royalties on this sale before re-selling the gas at a higher value without compensating the landowners. Some companies have also been accused of using gas to fuel machinery at other plants, rather than selling it, and therefore withholding royalty payments, according to ProPublica.
Landowners who have lease agreements with gas and energy companies and who suspect they have not received all royalties owed for gas taken from their property may be able to seek compensation as part of a potential class action lawsuit. The attorneys working with ClassAction.org are currently interested in hearing from these individuals to assist in their investigation into the payment practices of oil and gas companies across the country. For a free, individual case evaluation, please visit ClassAction.org today.
Class Action.org is dedicated to protecting consumers and investors in class actions and complex litigation throughout the United States. Class Action.org keeps consumers informed about product alerts, recalls, and emerging litigation and helps them take action against the manufacturers of defective products, drugs, and medical devices. Information about consumer fraud issues and environmental hazards is also available on the site. Visit http://www.classaction.org today for a no cost, no obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer rights.
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