Columbiana Jury Finds for Patriot Energy in Lawsuit
LISBON, Ohio – A Columbiana County jury has found in favor of Patriot Energy Partners LLC and nine other defendants that were sued for allegedly engaging in wrongful business practices related to the acquisition of mineral leases.
The Columbiana County Court of Common Pleas website shows the verdict was handed down Dec. 4 in favor of defendants Patriot, its president Andrew Blocksom, Thomas Blocksom, Robert Dickey, PEP Leasing LLC, and five other entities.
The complaint was filed in February by Roger, Carolyn, Bruce and James Starkey. It claimed the defendants used deceptive business tactics to secure mineral leases from the landowners at a fraction of what they were really worth. The complaint alleged the company then flipped the leases to Chesapeake Energy Corp. for a significant amount of more money.
The landowners also claimed the leases were improperly notarized and should be ruled null and void.
Blocksom told The Business Journal in February that all of the leases were negotiated in good faith.
The Starkeys were seeking more than $1 million in damages, according to court papers.
"We are very thankful for the unanimous jury verdict in favor of Patriot," Blocksom said in a statement released following the verdict. "We are also thankful that all the other defendants were dismissed from this lawsuit. From day one, we have said that we did everything properly, and the jury took less than 30 minutes to arrive at the same conclusion."
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