Lawsuit against Chesapeake Appalachia goes to federal court
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A lawsuit by 17 families, mostly in Beaver County, against gas firm Chesapeake Appalachia was moved Friday to federal court.
The complaint by families primarily in Hookstown and Georgetown was recently filed in the Beaver County Common Pleas Court. It claims that the families were approached from 2003 to 2007 by O&G Investment Holdings, of Wooster, Ohio, and told "that if the Leases were not signed [drillers] would drill on adjacent lands and extract Plaintiffs' minerals without paying any compensation."
The suit by attorneys Michael B. Jones and Chad F. McMillen said the leases contained "minimal or no" pre-drilling payments and the families have received "no production royalties." Chesapeake, it said, took over the leases but hasn't drilled.
The families allege fraudulent misrepresentation, unfair trade practices and breach of contract, and want money from Chesapeake and O&G. They also want an order barring drilling until their complaints are resolved.
Chesapeake and O&G exercised their right to move the case to federal court, since it involves parties from different states. A Chesapeake spokesman declined comment.
First Published June 30, 2012 12:27 am