Superior Court of Pa. affirms appeal denial in a lease dispute against a Burns White client

Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed an appeal denial in a lease dispute against a large natural gas producing client represented by Member and Co-Chair of the Energy Group Jeffrey D. Roberts and Energy Associate Marissa A. Cocciolone. The plaintiffs, a husband and wife who own the surface rights of more than 300 acres of land in Tioga County, Pa., filed a complaint against our client and later the original oil and gas leaseholder from whom the land was purchased, seeking a declaratory judgment, injunctive relief and damages for trespassing.

Our client was granted an erosion and sediment control general permit by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to construct a gas well pad with ten wells, drill pits, an access drive and a 4.5-acre water impoundment for the purpose of fracking. The appellants alleged that this use of the property was not permitted under the terms of the lease between the co-appellees. The trial court in Tioga County granted our client’s preliminary objections and dismissed the appellant’s complaint. The appellants didn’t file an appeal within the 30-day deadline and made several requests to the court to permit an appeal with no success.