AUSTIN, TEXAS (December 2, 2008) – A litigation team from McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P. recently won a jury award for its clients Charles G. Hooks, III et. al., royalty owners under three oil and gas leases in Jefferson and Hardin counties, Texas. The eight-day trial in Jefferson County District Court focused on whether Samson Lone Star L.P. committed fraud when it induced landowners to pool an existing lease into a new unit.
The parties weathered repeated delays due to Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The original trial began on August 26, 2008, and was interrupted by the hurricanes. Judge Gary Sanderson declared a mistrial in late September after a three-week break. Parties entered a new trial with a new jury on November 3, 2008.
The Hooks claimed that Samson fraudulently induced them to agree to pool their Jefferson County lease into a gas unit by misrepresenting the underground location of a nearby well, instead of paying them compensatory royalty on that well pursuant to the lease.
Jurors deliberated for three hours over two days, voting 11-to-1 in favor of the Hooks’ claims of fraud and statutory fraud. The jury also found that Samson’s failure to pay royalty based on “formation production” as specified in the Hooks’ leases resulted in underpayment of royalty.
McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore partner Paul Simpson led the plaintiffs’ team, which also included McGinnis partner Patton Lochridge, McGinnis associate Derrick Price, and local counsel Jon Burmeister of Moore Landrey in Beaumont, Texas.
Hooks et. al. v. Samson Lone Star L.P. is case No. B-173008-B in the 60th Judicial District Court in Jefferson County, Texas.