Company to pay $4.7 million in Garfield County royalties suit
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. ” Williams Production RMT will pay about $4.7 million under a partial settlement approved Friday in a class-action lawsuit involving about 1,200 oil and gas royalty owners in Garfield County.
The settlement will help Williams resolve litigation over how it calculates payments to owners of mineral interests in the county.
District Judge Denise Lynch credited attorneys on both sides for coming up with what she called a “very, very fair settlement” of some of the issues raised in the case, including alleged accounting errors.
Ivo, Sidney and Ruth Lindauer, all of Parachute, and Diamond Minerals LLC, filed the suit in 2006. Lynch certified its class-action status Friday.
Williams and the plaintiffs continue to disagree on matters involving gas transportation costs, and a trial is expected to take place later, possibly in 2010.
Williams previously had agreed to a $5.2 million partial settlement. The lower amount approved Friday reflects the fact that 22 eligible plaintiffs opted out of the settlement agreement, with about half of them being other oil and gas operators.
Grand Junction attorney Nathan Keever, who represents the plaintiffs, said some of those operators may have conducted some of the same royalty-related practices as Williams, and participating in the settlement might have compromised their own legal position.
A Williams spokesman was not immediately available for comment Friday night.
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