Royalty Owners Sue Chesapeake, SandRidge and former SandRidge CEO Tom Ward

Even though federal prosecutors dropped their bid-rigging case following the death of Oklahoma oilman Aubrey McClendon, private landowners are stepping in and seeking their own justice.

A group of oil and gas royalty owners, led by the Dallas,Texas law firm of Burns Charest LLP filed a civil class-action lawsuit this week in Oklahoma City federal court against others allegedly involved in the conspiracy that resulted in a federal grant jury indictment of McClendon on Monday. The 14-page suit accuses Chesapeake Energy, SandRidge Energy and former SandRidge CEO Tom Ward of violating federal antitrust laws by rigging the bids for leases on their land in Oklahoma. The royalty owners demand three times what they believe they are owed.

“This case is about cleaning up the oil patch,” said Warren Burns, founder and co-managing partner of the law firm. “In a rush to reap illegal profits, the defendants violated the trust and confidence of these royalty owners. Their actions demonstrate that they were willing to betray my clients and violate the law. We are suing to recover damages and to promote legal competition in the oil and gas industry.”

The lawsuit Thieme v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., et al was filed in the same court where McClendon was indicted.


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