WHEELING – Several energy companies who are defendants in a civil case involving oil and gas royalties wants to transfer the case from state court to federal court.

The petition was filed April 18 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

In the original action, Douglas Rodgers and William Rodgers filed a lawsuit April 18 in Ohio Circuit Court against Southwestern Energy Co., Southwestern Energy, Southwestern Energy Production Co., Chesapeake Appalachia LLC and Chesapeake Energy Corp., alleging breach of contract.

According to the complaint, the defendants have failed to pay all the oil and gas royalties owed under a lease agreement. In addition, the suit says, Southwestern Engergy and the other defendants have taken control of the plaintiffs’ property in an unlawful manner, and have damaged the property’s value by not maintaining the appearance of storage tanks.

Southwestern and the other defendants seek removal to a higher court because the plaintiffs and defendants are based in different states and the amount in question exceeds $75,000.

Douglas Rodgers and William Rodgers are represented by attorney Mark A. Kepple of Bailey & Wyant PLLC in Wheeling. Southwestern Energy and the other defendants are represented by attorney Nicolle R. Snyder Bagnell and Lucas Liben of Reed Smith LLP in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number 5:16-cv-00054-JPB

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