Appeal No. 120,611: L. Ruth Fawcett Trust v. Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas
Appeal No. 120,611 archived oral argument
The In the second appeal of a class action case alleging a breach of the implied duty to market gas and underpaid royalties, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals decision affirming the Seward County District Court’s holdings in this case. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Melissa Standridge, the Court held that the law of the case doctrine precluded the class of royalty owners (Class) from relitigating its claim that Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas breached its implied duty of good faith and fair dealing as alleged in a motion to amend the petition. The Court also held that the Class was not entitled to prejudgment interest for the Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas ‘s wrongful deduction of conservation fees because the damages did not become liquidated until the parties entered a stipulated award for damages. Finally, the Court held that Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas was equitably estopped from asserting a statute of limitations defense against the Class’ claim that Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas improperly deducted conservation fees from its royalty payments.