Beaumont attorney sues over improvements on cattle farm

Kelly Holleran Mar. 15, 2010, 9:37am

Gilbert Adams III

A Beaumont attorney who also owns a cattle breeding farm in Dimmit County claims several companies failed to make promised improvements to his land in exchange for mineral rights.

Gilbert Adams III and Adams Land & Cattle Co. filed a lawsuit March 4 in Jefferson County District Court against Progressive Well Service, Botasch Operating, KBF Petroleum, Mike Kramer, Matthew F. Wymer and Gutierrez Wymer.

Adams states he breeds and raises longhorn cattle and other hoof stock including bison, axis deer and whitetail deer on their land in Dimmit County. One day, during Adams' breeding duties, Mike Kramer, Progressive Well Service and Botash Operating approached him to discuss a mineral and surface lease on Adams' land.

"Defendants represented that they had made a mistake and had not realized that Plaintiffs owned an undivided interest in the mineral estate," the suit states. "At the time, Defendants represented that in lieu of making a 'bonus' payment, standard when a mineral owner lets a mineral lease, Defendants had work crews and would make improvements to the surface estate, as well as provide a larger royalty than would have otherwise been provided."

The defendants told Adams to identify improvements and promised to make them, according to the complaint.

"Defendants represented these improvements in lieu of bonus payments as a 'win-win' situation for all parties concerned," the complaint says.

In telephone conversations that took place while Adams sat in Beaumont, the suit states, the defendants agreed to construct an offset, electric-gated, lighted entrance with adequate cattle guard anticipated to cost between $80,000 and $120,000; to construct an adequate roadbed and roadway out of specified material expected to cost $20,000 to $30,000 per mile; to install at least one mile of 2-inch waterline for about $18,964.50 per mile; to pay $10,000 for alternate game viewing locations; and to erect a gated game-proof fence around pumpjacks, wells and tank batteries for about $10,000, Adams claims. In addition, the defendants agreed to pay Adams for time he spent communicating with them, the suit states.

However, Adams alleges he began experiencing problems with the defendants when they failed to install the promised waterline. In turn, Adams' 2009 fawn crop nearly became eliminated and numerous deer died, which would have brought Adams $3,000 to $10,000 in revenue for each, according to the complaint.

The defendants also failed to pay Adams for his time, the complaint says. In fact, Adams claims the defendants had no intention of honoring the oil and gas lease, as evidenced when they hired defendant lawyers Matthew F. Wymer and Gutierrez Wymer.

"The Wymer Defendants, acting jointly and in concert with the Kramer Defendants, set upon a course of action to delay and deny Plaintiffs' rights under the Oil & Gas Lease, and made misrepresentations in furtherance of the course of delay Defendants set upon," the suit states.

Finally, in 2009, Kramer and his companies sent $10,000 to Adams Land and to Adams. However, they still failed to complete any other aspects of the promised improvements, Adams claims.

"When it became apparent that Defendants did not intend to comply, and on or about Sept. 28, 2009, the Wymer Defendants stated such things as the stated lease 'was not viable' and 'does not even have a bank account,'" the suit states.

The bank account did not exist because Kramer and his alleged companies were not properly made into corporations, according to the complaint.

After failing to comply with the lease, the Wymers began slandering Adams Land and Adams, saying Kramer and his companies refused to complete the contract because of Adams' threats and conduct, the complaint says.

"Said libel, slander and defamation included that Gilbert Adams III, the contact person for Plaintiff, Adams Land and Cattle Company, was 'threatening,' 'abusive,' 'insulting,' 'unable to control' Plaintiff's temper and 'incapable of conducting (himself) in a professional manner,'" the suit states.

In their complaint, Adams alleges breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, suppressing facts and/or failure to disclose, alter ego and operating as a single business enterprise against the Kramer defendants, defamation and tortuous and unreasonable interference, negligence and malice, nuisance, conversion and unjust enrichment.

In the 14-count complaint, Adams Land and Adams seek actual and exemplary damages, a declaration for the protection of Adams Land and Adams use and enjoyment of various undivided mineral interests, attorneys' fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and costs. The plaintiffs also seek an order requiring performance or adherence to the contract and requiring that defendants provide all surface improvements promised and other relief the court deems just.

Alto Watson III, Gilbert T. Adams Jr. and Curtis Soileau of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams in Beaumont will be representing the plaintiffs.
The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.
Jefferson County District Court case number: A186-169.

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