Companies in dispute over Jefferson County land lease

Kelly Holleran Jun. 30, 2010, 9:24am

The lessee of a tract of Jefferson County land has filed suit against the company and its officer alleging that false assurances were made to execute the lease.

Plaintiff Petro Vest Inc. claims defendants George Brown III and the Jefferson Land Co. told Petro Vest it could be given the exclusive right to explore and produce oil, gas and other hydrocarbons on the land covered by the lease.

After meetings with the defendants between Jan. 1, 2007, and May 2007, Petro Vest signed the lease on May 24, 2007, according to the complaint filed June 17 in Jefferson County District Court.

However, Brown's representations were false, and Petro Vest only discovered the falsity after it signed the lease, the suit states.

"Petro Vest discovered that there were unrecorded property interests, dating from 2005, that prevented JLC from granting the exclusive rights," the complaint says. "George W. Brown III and Jefferson Land Company intended Petro Vest to rely on the false representations."

When Petro Vest attempted to confront Brown about his alleged misrepresentations, Brown ended all contact with Petro Vest, the company claims.

Petro Vest alleges fraud in the inducement, statutory fraud and common law fraud against the defendants.

It is seeking actual, consequential and exemplary damages, plus attorneys' fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, recession of the lease, disgorgement by the defendants of the amount they were unjustly enriched and other relief to which it may be entitled.s

L. DeWayne Layfield of the Law Office of L. DeWayne Layfield in Beaumont will be representing the plaintiff. Wayne A. Reaud of The Reaud Law Firm in Beaumont will serve of counsel.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E187-100.

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