Key Matters

Defense of an E&P company against a multi-plaintiff litigation alleging environmental contamination, breach of contract, personal injury, negligence, strict liability, nuisance and medical monitoring:

  • Obtained a first-in-the-nation summary judgment decision finding that hydraulic fracturing is not subject to strict liability
  • Obtained summary judgment on claims of breach of contract, personal injury, negligence, nuisance, and medical monitoring
  • Obtained directed verdict on negligence claims that went to trial
  • Obtained new trial through successful post-trial motion

Representation of E&P companies in state and federal courts across Pennsylvania:

  • Obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial alleging claims of fraud, fraudulent inducement, negligent inducement, tortious interference, and other tort claims related to an oil and gas lease
  • Defended the above defense verdict on appeal before Superior Court (decision pending)
  • Obtained an appellate victory overturning a summary judgment order in an oil and gas lease validity dispute
  • Obtained a dismissal of declaratory judgment (the court refused to read the Pugh clause into the lease), slander of title (the statute of limitations had expired and the recording of the Memorandum of Lease did not result in an on-going tort), and breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing claims (not an independent cause of action)
  • Obtained a dismissal of an entire case on the basis that shut-in payments on vertical, non-fraced, and non-producing wells perpetuated the lease into the secondary term (successfully defended dismissal in appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit)
  • Obtained trial court order enforcing settlement agreement reached days before trial on claims that oil and gas lease had expired
  • Defending the above order on appeal before Superior Court (case pending)
  • Defending against a multi-plaintiff case wherein plaintiffs are claiming water and property damages as a result of gathering line installation and operation
  • Defended against a class action case and a multi-plaintiff case claiming a breach of lease for the failure to pay bonus payments where drafts were issued but not funded and leases were surrendered
  • Defended against claims that a preexisting lease precluded enforcement of an oil and gas lease with an E&P company (the plaintiff voluntarily withdrew the case)
  • Obtained a dismissal of all contract claims as well as anticipatory trespass, negligence per se, and gross negligence claims in a contamination and nuisance-type case related to the development of Marcellus wells near the plaintiff’s property
  • Obtained a summary judgment on private nuisance, negligence, and strict liability claims related to injuries allegedly suffered as a result of nearby gas development operations
  • Obtained a summary judgment on a breach of contract action where a right-of-way holder attempted to prevent the use of a pipeline to transport non-native gas across the property
  • Obtained a voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit challenging post-production expenses
  • Prosecuted and defended quiet title actions
  • Obtained a voluntary dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit challenging the validity of an oil and gas lease (dismissal before the decision on a pending motion to dismiss)

Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of an E&P company against an environmental activist so as to prevent interference with operations or the entering of well sites, well pads, or access roads:

  • Obtained an enforcement of stipulated injunction, despite the activist’s subsequent objections to injunction
  • Successfully defended trial court decision in Pennsylvania Superior Court

Advised and represented E&P and service companies regarding various issues related to seismic testing, including:

  • Alleged damage to township roads during seismic testing using a vibrosis truck
  • Interactions with townships (ordinance reviews, demonstrations of equipment, road usage, etc.)
  • Challenges to and suit regarding denial of permits
  • Interactions with landowners relative to seismic access and damage claims

Non-oil & gas related experience:

  • Defend international entity in multi-million dollar breach of contract action related to coal purchase agreement
  • Obtained dismissal for lack of jurisdiction over international entity in multi-million dollar personal injury claim
  • Defended electricity transmission company in multi-plaintiff action seeking declaration that rights-of-way were abandoned
  • Represent hospital in contract and tort case against physician and his company related to services previously performed and defend counterclaims asserted therein
  • Defend organ procurement organization against tort claims by parents of organ donor
  • Represent individual asserting multi-million dollar claim for services rendered in procuring sale of company