Marshall County, West Virginia landowners Lewis Aston, Cathy Aston, Linda Standiford, William Standiford, Mary Jako, Clarence Rulong, and Patricia Hoskins, as well as a “class of all similarly situated individuals” have filed suit against a natural gas drilling company, saying they acted in “reckless disregard” on royalty payments.
According to the lawsuit, AB Resources made improper deduction from the royalty payments made to the plaintiffs for fracking on their land. The complaint says that AB Resources’ acted in a way that was “so outrageous as to the shock the conscious,” as they “entered into a scheme and design to intentionally mislead plaintiffs into believing they were being paid all royalties due them,” the Wheeling Intelligencer reported.
An attorney for the plaintiffs told reporters that they “believe about 12-15 percent was improperly deducted from their royalty checks,” for about year.
The lawsuit claims that AB Resources is in breach of contract, and “intentionally concealed deductions from rents and royalties” on the land lease contracts. The lawsuit seeks the amount the plaintiffs have lost, which totals approximately $1 million.