Energy companies lose rulings in federal courts in Arkansas and New Mexico

Federal judges have made recent rulings affecting energy companies in Oklahoma and New Mexico.

U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes III of the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith ruled in a case involving a lawsuit filed by OK Foods, Inc. against Continental Carbonic Products, Inc. and electrical power provider AES Shady Point LLC.

The judge denied partial summary judgment for AES and granted in part partial summary judgment to CCPI. The case is set to go to trial.

It involves contaminated dry ice produced by CCPI and AES and sold to OK Foods for use in poultry processing operations. OK Foods filed suit after it found that several lots of chicken products had been contaminated by the dry ice, forcing the company to destroy 300,000 pounds of chicken products at its plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 2018.

New Mexico U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed against Energen Resources Corporation accusing it of underpaying royalties on oil and gas wells it operate in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin.

The suit brought by The Anderson Living Trust had originally been rejected by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals because it sought to include “all” Colorado and New Mexico royalty owners, something the appeals court rejected.

But the Trust returned with a narrowly defended request to include royalty owners with interests in 153 leases, which Judge Johnson granted.

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