Monday, January 29, 2007

$400 Million Verdict in WV NatGas Case

The Charleston Gazette:

In a court decision that could have ripple effects for natural-gas royalty contracts throughout West Virginia, a Roane County jury has ruled that one of the state’s biggest gas production companies cheated gas-rights owners out of more than $100 million.

The jury ordered Columbia Natural Resources LLC and two other gas companies associated with it to pay a class of about 8,000 plaintiffs nearly $405 million.

It found that Columbia Natural Resources shortchanged the plaintiffs by $134.3 million and deserved to pay $271 million more in punitive damages.