If that headline is hard to believe, go stick your head back in the sand or where ever you’ve had your head stuck.
COURT FINDS FOR BIG OIL COMPANY OVER SMALL ROYALTY OWNER IN PRECEDENT SETTING CASE Attorney: ‘You can’t really believe anything the oil company tells you’
This is from The Quorum Report website and it requires a subscription. Here’s the nutshell:
- The court finds Shell committed fraud in their royalty payments.
- Shell appeals to the TX Supreme Court.
- TXSC finds Shell committed fraud but it’s the royalty owners’ fault.
On Friday, the high court issued an opinion reversing lower court findings that Shell Oil Co. must reimburse $72,532.09 to a Texas royalty owner named Ralph Ross. A Houston area jury had found that Shell fraudulently reported lower prices for its natural gas to Ross and then shortchanged him, violating the terms of their lease contract. A lower appellate court had upheld the finding for Ross.
But, the Supreme Court found that Ross had an obligation to investigate further and conduct research of public records that could have alerted him to the underpayments by Shell. It didn’t matter, the high court essentially said, whether Shell committed fraud or not.
“We hold that the fraudulent concealment doctrine does not apply to extend (the statute of) limitations as a matter of law when the royalty underpayments could have been discovered from readily accessible and publicly available information before the limitations period expired,” wrote Justice Debra Lehrmann for the court.
So, you better learn how to audit those royalty checks. HINT: since I used to work for a company that did royalty payment audits, I can tell you it’s virtually impossible for even the above average person to figure this all out.
At any rate, don’t expect the Big Gas Mafia to pay you fairly and it’s your fault.
Here’s your Christmas carol