On September 3, 2021, the Court preliminarily approved a Settlement in the Litigation between Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and the Settlement Class, and Defendant. The approval and the Notice are not an expression of opinion by the Court as to the merits of any of the claims or defenses asserted by any of the parties to the Litigation, or of whether the Court will ultimately approve the Settlement Agreement.
In settlement of Released Claims alleged in the Litigation, Defendant has agreed to pay One Million, Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,600,000.00) in cash (“Gross Settlement Fund”). In exchange for the payment noted above and other consideration outlined in the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Class shall release the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement, available for review and download on the Important Documents page of this website) against the Released Parties (as defined in the Settlement Agreement). The $1,600,000.00 cash payment is referred to as the “Gross Settlement Fund.” The Gross Settlement Fund, less Class Counsel’s Fees and Expenses, and other costs approved by the Court (the “Net Settlement Fund”), will be distributed to Final Class Members pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement does not release the Remaining Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) related to the Class I alleged claims for underpaid or unpaid royalties or oil or gas proceeds payments, or interest on such underpaid or unpaid royalties.
Class intends to seek an award of attorneys’ fees of not more than 40% of the Gross Settlement Fund. Plaintiff’s Counsel, Reagan E. Bradford and Ryan K. Wilson of Bradford & Wilson and Rex Sharp of Sharp Law LLP, have been litigating this case without any payment whatsoever, advancing many thousands of dollars in expenses. At the Final Fairness Hearing, Plaintiff’s Counsel will also seek reimbursement of the litigation expenses incurred in connection with the prosecution of this Litigation and that will be incurred through final distribution of the Settlement, which amount will not exceed $150,000.00, to be paid out of the Gross Settlement Fund. In addition, Plaintiff intends to seek a nominal case contribution award for its representation of the Class, which amount will not exceed $32,000.00, to compensate Plaintiff for its time, expense, risk and burden as serving as Class Representative.
The Court must approve the Allocation Methodology, which describes how the Settlement Administrator will allocate the Net Settlement Fund. The Net Settlement Fund will be distributed by the Settlement Administrator after the Effective Date of the Settlement. The Effective Date requires the exhaustion of any appeals, which may take a year or more after the entry of Judgment. The Settlement may be terminated on several grounds, including if the Court does not approve or materially modifies the terms of the Settlement. If the Settlement is terminated, the Litigation will proceed as if the Settlement had not been reached.