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Keller Lenkner LLC Files Class Action against EQT Corp. for Unpaid Royalties

Keller Lenkner LLC, a worldwide plaintiffs’ legal firm, filed a proposed class action complaint yesterday on behalf of real estate owners whose rights were infringed by EQT Corporation, the nation’s largest natural gas producer. EQT took and produced natural gas from the plaintiffs’ real property without paying the appropriate royalties.

The defendants—EQT Production Company, Vantage Energy Appalachia LLC, Rice Drilling B, LLC, and Vantage Energy Appalachia II LLC are accused of, among other things, violating breaching a quasi-contract, the Pennsylvania Minimum Royalty Act, and engaging in unjust enrichment and conversion, according to the complaint. Keller Lenkner and its co-counsel, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP, seek to recover royalties owed to real property owners and to prevent additional violations of their property rights.

EQT, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is in charge of substantial drilling and natural gas extraction activities in Pennsylvania. EQT must sign into arrangements with at least one deposit owner to drill and collect natural gas from the owner’s land before exploitation of a natural gas deposit in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, under Pennsylvania law, EQT is required to pay royalties to any owners of natural gas that it intends to produce, regardless of whether those owners have granted EQT direct production rights.

According to Keller Lenkner lawsuit, EQT routinely fails to find, account for, and pay the owners with whom it has not directly negotiated, in violation of Pennsylvania law. It further claims that EQT took natural gas from real estate in which the plaintiffs have an ownership interest without accounting to or paying royalties to the plaintiffs as required by legislation.

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