• If You Have Received a Royalty Payment for Production from an Oil and Gas Well in Oklahoma, You Could Be a Part of a Proposed Class Action Settlement

If You Have Received a Royalty Payment for Production from an Oil and Gas Well in Oklahoma, You Could Be a Part of a Proposed Class Action Settlement
There is a proposed settlement in a putative class action lawsuit filed against XTO Energy Inc. about statutory interest allegedly owed on certain royalty payments for oil and gas production proceeds from oil and gas wells in Oklahoma. The proposed Settlement provides for a cash payment of $20,000,000.00, plus Future Benefits that Plaintiff estimates have a net present value of at least $20,000,000.00. The Litigation is called Dorsey J. Reirdon v. XTO Energy Inc. The Litigation is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma before Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West.
This notice is a summary only. For more detailed information regarding the rights and obligations of Class Members, you should read the full Notice of Proposed Settlement, Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, and Fairness Hearing (“Notice of Proposed Settlement”) and other documents related to the proposed Settlement, which can be found at the website listed at the bottom of this document. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this notice shall have the meanings attributed to those terms in the Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (“Settlement Agreement”) referred to below.
On October 17, 2017, the Court prelimiaril approved a Settlement in the abAve-captioned litigation (the “Litigation”) between Plaintiff Dorsey J. Reirdon (“Plaintiff ”), on behalf of himself and te Settlement Class, and XTO Energy Inc. (“Defendant”). In settlement of all Settlement Class claims asserted in the Litigation, Defendant has agreed to (1) pay $20,000,000.00 in cash (“Gross Settlement Fund”), which will be distributed in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and orders of the Court, and (2) provide other relief described in the Settlement Agreement.
What Is the Litigation About?
The Litigation seeks damages for Defendant’s alleged failure to pay statutory interest on royalty payments made outside the time periods set forth in the Production Revenue Standards Act, 52 Okl. St. §570.10 (the “PRSA”) for oil and gas production proceeds from oil and gas wells in Oklahoma. The Court did not decide which side was right. Defendant denies that certification would be proper in a contested class action and denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing and liability. Defendant has only agreed to the proposed Settlement to avoid the uncertainty, burden, and expense of continued litigation. Likewise, Plaintiff has agreed to the proposed Settlement to avoid the uncertainty, burden, and expense of continued litigation.
Who Are Class Members?
The Settlement Class includes: All non-excluded persons or entities who between January 1, 2009 and October 31, 2017 received royalty and/or overriding royalty payments from Defendant (or Defendant’s designee) for oil and gas production proceeds from oil and gas wells in Oklahoma. The persons or entities excluded from the Settlement Class are: (1) persons or entities who have received only working interest payments during the Claim Period; (2) agencies, departments, or instrumentalities of the United States of America and the State of Oklahoma; (3) publicly traded oil and gas companies and their affiliates; (4) persons or entities that Plaintiff’s Counsel are prohibited from representing under Rule 1.7 of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, including, but not limited to, Charles David Nutley and Danny George (who Plaintiff ’s Counsel cannot represent because such representation would create a concurrent conflict of interest); and (5) officers of the Court. Please visit the website listed at the bottom of this document for more detailed information concerning the proposed settlement.
What Does the Settlement Provider?
In consideration of the Settlement, Defendant has agreed to pay $20,000,000.00 that will be distributed according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the documents referenced in and exhibits to the Settlement Agreement, and orders from the Court. In addition, Defendant has agreed to, commencing on the later of (i) December 31, 2017 or (ii) the Effective Date and continuing unless or until there is a change in the law, implement new procedures and policies for paying statutory interest to royalty interest owners and overriding royalty interest owners in Oklahoma without awaiting a request for such statutory interest. See the Settlement Agreement for full details. Plaintiff estimates these Future Benefits have an estimated net present value of at least $20,000,000.00 to the Settlement Class.Additionally, Defendant has agreed to pay up to $750,000 of Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs as described in the Settlement Agreement. The Court will deduct Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees, Litigation Expenses, Plaintiff’s Case Contribution Award, the amount of money attributable to Class Members who are excluded from the Settlement Class, and other fees and expenses from the Gross Settlement Fund, and the remainder of the fund (the “Net Settlement Fund”) will be distributed to eligible Class Members based on a variety of factors. These factors determining the amount distributed to each Class Member (if any) include the production date, the date the underlying royalty payment was made, the amount of the underlying royalty payment made, the time periods set forth in the PRSA, any additional statutory interest that Plaintiff’s Counsel believes has since accrued, and the amount of interest or returns that have accrued on the Class Member’s
proportionate share of the Net Settlement Fund (if any) during the time such share was held in the Escrow Account. Additional information on the benefits of the Settlement, including information on the distribution of the Net Settlement Fund, can be found in the Settlement Agreement and other documents posted on the website listed at the bottom of this document. In exchange, Class Members will release Defendant and others identified in the Settlement Agreement from the claims made in the Litigation and other claims as described in the Settlement Agreement.
Who Represents Me?
Four law firms represent the Settlement Class: (a) Nix, Patterson & Roach, LLP; (b) Ryan Whaley PLLC; (c) Whitten Burrage; and (d) Richards & Connor, PLLP. You may hire your own attorney, if you wish. However, you will be responsible for that attorney’s fees and expenses.
What Are My Legal Rights?
Stay in the Settlement Class: You do not have to do anything to stay in the Settlement Class and receive the benefits of the proposed Settlement. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you may also object to the proposed Settlement. If you stay in the Settlement Class, you will be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court, and you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, Defendant or any of the other Released Parties for the legal claims released in the Settlement Agreement.
• Remain in the Settlement Class and receive benefits: If you remain in the Settlement Class and the Court approves the proposed Settlement, you or your successors will receive the benefits of the proposed Settlement in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and any Plan of Allocation orders entered by the Court.
• Object to the Proposed Settlement: You or your lawyer have the right to file a written objection and appear before the Court to object to any aspect of the proposed Settlement or the requests for Plaintiff’s attorneys fees, Litigation Expenses, or Case Contribution Award. In order to be valid, your written objection must (1) contain the information described in the full Notice of Proposed Settlement and Preliminary Approval Order found at the website listed below and (2) be filed with the Court and served on Plaintiff’s Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel, via certified mail return receipt requested, and received by January 10, 2018 at 5 p.m. CDT. For mailing addresses and more information about the steps required by the Court for your objection to be valid, please see the full Notice of Proposed Settlement and Preliminary Approval Order at the website listed below.
Exclude Yourself From the Settlement Class: To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must file a written statement with the Court and send a copy by certified mail, return receipt requested, to Defendant’s Counsel, Plaintiff’s Counsel, and the Settlement Administrator. Your letter must (1) include your name, address, telephone number, and notarized signature; (2) state that you want to be excluded from the ettlement Class in Dorsey J. Reirdon v. XTO Energy Inc.; and (3) include the other information described in the full Notice of Proposed Settlement and Preliminary Approval Order. To be effective, your written request for exclusion must be filed with the Court and served on the Settlement Administrator, Defendant’s Counsel, and Plaintiff’s Counsel by certified mail, return receipt requested, in accordance with the instructions provided in the Preliminary Approval Order, and received by January 5, 2018 at 5 p.m. CDT. If you do not follow the procedures described in the Preliminary Approval Order—including meeting the date for exclusion set out above—you will not be excluded from the Settlement Class and you will be bound by all of the orders and judgments entered by the Court regarding the Settlement, including the release of claims. For mailing addresses and more information about properly excluding yourself from the Settlement Class, please see the full Notice of Proposed Settlement and Preliminary Approval Order at the website listed below.
When Will the Court Determine Whether to Approve the Proposed Settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing on January 24, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. CDT at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, 101 North 5th Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401. At the hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and hear any valid objections that are timely submitted. The Court will also consider the Plaintiff’s request for attorneys fees, Litigation Expenses, and a Case Contribution Award. Please note that the date of the Final Fairness Hearing is subject to change without further notice. If you plan to attend the hearing, you should check with the Court and www.reirdonxtoenergy.com to be sure no change to the date and time of the hearing has been made.
Where Can I Get More Information About the Settlement?
Visit:
www.reirdonxtoenergy.com
Call Toll-Free:
1-866-516-7285
Or write to:
Reirdon-XTOSettlement
c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator P.O. Box 7028 Broomfield, CO 80021
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PostedDecember 06, 2017