BREAKING: TX Supreme Court rules Big Gas Mafia royalty payment fraud okay

scale of justice

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

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Anonomous says

    Just another example of how that ‘3rd Branch’ of our gubment is just as rotten and bought off as the legislative and executive branches! That so-called judicial branch needs to undergo a great big 50% budget cut–it’s doing nothing for us ordinary peasants.

  2. Tim Ruggiero says

    My heart is just breaking (not) for Ross. He made a deal with the Devil, and then found out the Devil screwed him? Aw.

    • A Nonny Mouse says

      So, you think the court decision was correct then? I would have thought you were totally against the courts giving operators even more ability to rape and pillage and legally commit fraud.