Ritchie Petroleum, Jay-Bee Oil and Gas sued over trespassing claims

By Molly English-Bowers | Nov 30, 2015

ST. MARYS – A pair of Florida plaintiffs are suing after they say the defendants were unjustly enriched from their trespassing on the plaintiffs' property.

Cobra & Cobra and James and Bozena Rodill filed the suit May 15 in Pleasants Circuit Court against Ritchie Petroleum Corp. and Jay-Bee Oil and Gas, citing unjust enrichment, wrongful taking/conversion, trespass and breach of implied covenant of reasonable production.

According to the complaint, the Rodills purchased 68 acres of land and mineral rights in Lafayette District in Pleasants County in 2006. They did not receive notice of any active oil and gas leases on the property.

On June 25, 2014, the plaintiffs assigned to property to Cobra & Cobra. Because no oil or gas operations or production were taking place on the property and no rental payments were made, the lease terminated on Aug. 7, 2005. Ritchie was assigned the rights under the lease; he then assigned rights to Jay-Bee, the complaint states.

The plaintiffs charge that the defendants have trespassed onto the property and in 2010 began production of oil and gas after the Cobra lease was terminated.

In addition to a trial by jury, the plaintiffs seek to recover punitive damages so as to deter them and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. They also seek the full value of the oil and gas taken from the property from the time it was purchased until it was assigned to Cobra & Cobra.

And finally, they seek compensatory damages, interest, court costs and attorney fees.

Representing the plaintiffs are James G. Bordas Jr. and Jeremy M. McGraw of Bordas & Bordas of Wheeling. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Timothy Sweeney.

Pleasants Circuit Court case number 15-C-19

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