ARKLATEX (KSLA) - The first Louisiana royalty lawsuit filed against Chesapeake Energy by the McDonald Law Firm has been set for trial next year in Houston. The lawsuit, which is set to go to trial on April 4, 2016, is paving the way for what is expected to be a hard-fought battle between Chesapeake Energy and Louisiana gas royalty owners.
The lawsuit claims that gas royalty owners were cheated out of several hundred million dollars by the energy giant.
The suit was filed in February on behalf of a DeSoto Parish property owner.
The Fort Worth-based McDonald Law Firm, which represents nearly 2,500 Louisiana gas royalty owners, is expected to file at least 10 more lawsuits this week.
In September 2014, several hundred mineral rights owners attended a series of meetings offered by the McDonald Law Firm after the owner of the firm, Dan McDonald says he was given the runaround himself by Chesapeake and had to fight for the royalties owed to him. McDonald, who is not an oil and gas attorney, says he learned through his personal experiences in trying to get answers from the natural gas giant.
Since his experience, he vowed to reach out to others going through similar issues.
McDonald says they're not looking to file a class action lawsuit against Chesapeake but rather hundreds of them individually.
The law firm has reportedly already recruited more than 4,000 claimants in Texas and elsewhere.