Justia Energy, Oil & Gas Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Kentucky Supreme Court
Imhoff v. Honorable House
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the court of appeals granting Defendant's petition for a writ of prohibition of the first class, thereby vacating the circuit court's denial of Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' claim for breach of contract, holding that the court of appeals did not err.Plaintiffs were Kentucky landowners who leased their land to Defendant, an oil and gas producer. Plaintiffs filed a breach of contract class action suit alleging that Defendant impermissibly deducted severance taxes as a post-production cost before paying them royalties. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on grounds that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiffs did not meet the required amount in controversy. The circuit court denied the motion. Defendant then sought a writ of prohibition. The court of appeals granted the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs did not meet the required amount in controversy, and therefore, the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction. View "Imhoff v. Honorable House" on Justia Law
Nami Resources Co., LLC v. Asher Land & Mineral, Ltd.
The Supreme Court vacated in part the judgment of the Court of Appeals upholding a jury verdict against Appellants in the amount of $1,308,403 in compensatory damages and $2,686,000 in punitive damages, holding that the award of punitive damages, for what was essentially a breach of contract, was improper.The jury verdict arose from an action brought by Appellees asserting that Appellant violated its contractual obligations by fraudulently underpaying royalties owed under leases governing Appellants’ extraction of natural gas from Appellees’ land. Appellees brought its claim for unpaid royalties under breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation theories. The Supreme Court held (1) the award of punitive damages was improper; (2) the award of compensatory damages as determined by the trial court and jury was proper; and (3) Appellants’ post-verdict motions were timely made, no errors committed during trial warranted a new trial, and the trial court did not err in denying Appellees’ motion to amend the complaint. View "Nami Resources Co., LLC v. Asher Land & Mineral, Ltd." on Justia Law
Louisville Gas & Electric Co. v. Kentucky Waterways Alliance
Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) sought a permit authorizing it to discharge certain pollutants into the Ohio River in conjunction with the operation of its recently expended generating facility. The Commonwealth of Kentucky, Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Water issued the permit. The circuit court vacated the permit. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and reinstated LG&E’s permit, holding (1) in vacating the permit, the circuit court and Court of Appeals misapplied controlling federal law; and (2) the Cabinet’s determination that the LG&E permit should proceed under 40 C.F.R. 125.3(c)(1) was a reasonable interpretation of the regulation. View "Louisville Gas & Electric Co. v. Kentucky Waterways Alliance" on Justia Law