Mineral owners file suit in West Virginia, claiming Stone Energy Corporation withheld royalty payments.
Two lawsuits were filed earlier this month against Stone Energy Corp in. The plaintiffs, Calvin D. Lechliter and Mary L. Lechliter; and John Jennings and Mollie Toppe, claim their 2009 lease contracts are invalid because Stone fraudulently withheld royalty payments and breached their agreement.
“The 2009 lease contracts do not identify with particularity the specific deductions the lessee intends to take from the lessor’s royalty or indicate the method of calculating the amount to be deducted from the royalty for such post-production costs, as required by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals”
Stone went on to withhold large fees from the plaintiffs for post-production costs. The plaintiffs are seeking full payment of royalty interests; credit/payment for all withheld post-production costs; and compensatory and punitive damages.
UPDATE: On December 14, Stone Energy Corp. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Lafayette, La., company reported $1.2 billion in assets and $1.7 billion in debts in its chapter 11 petition, filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston.