6th Circ. Backs Landowners' Cert. In Chesapeake Royalty Row

Law360 (August 15, 2019, 10:19 PM EDT) -- The Sixth Circuit affirmed class certification Thursday for landowners claiming Total E&P USA Inc. and Chesapeake Exploration LLC withheld payments from hundreds of royalty owners, saying differences among the natural gas and oil wells did not overly complicate the common question of whether the company made improper payment deductions.

A three-member panel ruled that the question of whether Total and Chesapeake improperly paid royalties after deducting costs associated with processing the gas so it could be sold on the market was common among the landowners. As such, a lower court properly determined that the language of each lease and when the...

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