FORT WORTH, Texas – Pennsylvania royalty owners received welcome news this week when they learned two lawsuits filed against Chesapeake Energy by the McDonald Law Firm have been set for trial next year in Dallas.
State District Judge Eric V. Moyé set both trials for June 7, 2016.
The two lawsuits ― which were filed on behalf of royalty owners with property in Bradford County ― are the first to be set for trial on behalf of the firm’s clients in Pennsylvania. The suits allege underpayment of royalties, breach of contract and fraud, among other things.
The lawsuits were filed in Dallas because one of Chesapeake’s co-defendants, Chief Exploration and Development, has its principal place of business in Dallas County. Other co-defendants listed in the lawsuits include Statoil USA Onshore Properties; Anadarko E&P Onshore; and Mitsui E&P USA.
The Dallas County trial dates are the latest movement in the McDonald Law Firm’s massive litigation against Chesapeake. The firm represents nearly 22,000 gas royalty owners across the country ― more than any other firm ― and has filed more than 300 lawsuits.
Most of the litigation stems from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Pennsylvania ― states with some of the biggest shale plays. To date, the McDonald Law Firm has 13 royalty trials scheduled next year against Chesapeake, including 10 in the Fort Worth-area, one in Houston and, now, two in Dallas.
The McDonald Law Firm contends that Chesapeake Energy has underpaid gas royalty owners by several hundred million dollars. The firm represents small and large property owners and continues to file lawsuits on their behalf weekly.