In the nearly eleven months since a class-action bid-rigging lawsuit was filed against Chesapeake Energy and SandRidge Energy, oilman Tom Ward and others, the number of plaintiffs has grown from one to 19.
A check of the lawsuit originally filed by Brian Thieme, a Colorado resident who is also a land-owner in northwest Oklahoma, showed the addition of 18 more individuals making accusations of conspiracy against the two energy companies and former executives. The lawsuit, (cv-00209-M) is before U.S. District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange and the last filing was dated Jan. 17, 2017.
The case has yet to go to trial and in all liklihood, won’t for some time. The last arguments dealt with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by SandRidge Energy. The case against SandRidge was closed and in recent months, plaintiffs have asked the court to reopen case against the Oklahoma City-based energy company.
“This litigation began eight months ago and it has been stayed in its entirety for the past six months,” wrote attorney Warren T. Burns in a November 2016 filing. “Nonetheless, Defendants Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Chesapeake Exploration LLC and Chesapeake Exploration, LP—who have admitted to participating in collusive conduct by entering into the DOJ’s amnesty program—and Defendant Tom L. Ward—the ringleader of the misconduct on SandRidge’s end—want this case to stay closed for an even longer, and indeterminate, period of time.”
He accused them of “grasping at straws in an effort to further delay accountability for the widespread harm they have caused landowners in Oklahoma and beyond.”
The original lawsuit against the companies and executives accused them of conspiring to rig bids for oil and gas properties in northwest Oklahoma.