A federal judge has granted summary judgment in favor of a gas driller in a case in which a landowner objected to drilling within the meadow in which she had scattered her husband’s ashes because there was no evidence that the objection was made on time.
Plaintiff Lori J. Meeko, a Bradford County landowner who contracted in April 2008 for her 67 acres of land to be developed for gas and oil drilling, sued Southwestern Energy Production for breach of contract and other causes of action. An addendum to the lease provides that Meeko reserved the right to approve the location of all well sites, access roads “and related appliances constructed or installed on the leased premises.”
U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo of the Middle District of Pennsylvania found that Southwestern was entitled to summary judgment, having satisfied the company’s burden of demonstrating the lack of a genuine issue of fact.
While Meeko had the right to approve the location of well sites, Meeko did not demonstrate that she proposed to move the well site boundaries or designated an alternative well site within a reasonable distance of the selected site within five days after she received a map identifying the proposed well location, Caputo said.
“Ms. Meeko consented to the location by her inaction,” the judge said in an opinion Thursday adopting recommendations made by Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt.
- Read more about it in Wednesday’s Legal.