PA Landowners Ask Judge to Intervene in Chesapeake Royalty Case

In March 2015 MDN reported on the “Demchak” royalty case in which a group of Pennsylvania landowners had agreed to a settlement with Chesapeake over Chessy’s alleged shorting of royalty payments (see Chesapeake’s PA Royalty Settlement Affects Some, Not All Landowners). As we reported at the time, “several thousand” landowners (we now know the number is 9,000 landowners) would share two-thirds of the $11 million settlement (the other one-third going to the lawyers), which doesn’t seem all that great a deal to us. Toward the end of last year the issue got heated again as many landowners were faced with a decision of whether or not to opt out of the settlement (see Packed Meeting in Towanda Discusses Chesapeake Royalty Settlement). Then the whole thing came to a screeching half with a new lawsuit by PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Her lawsuit stopped the settlement from proceeding (see PA AG’s Lawsuit Derails Demchak/Chesapeake Royalty Settlement). Afraid that Chesapeake will file for bankruptcy protection (not related to this case), landowners in the Demchak case are asking a federal judge to appoint a mediator and finish the deal–so at least they will get pennies on the dollar instead of nothing at all…

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