Request for admissions filed in suit over improvements on cattle farm

David Yates Dec. 7, 2010, 6:57am

Gilbert Adams III

Discovery is heating up in litigation brought by a cattle breeding farm and its owner, a Beaumont attorney who alleges several companies failed to make promised improvements to his land in exchange for mineral rights.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, 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.

On Nov. 23 defendants Matthew Wymer and Gutierrez Wymer filed notice of their request for admissions and production, which includes their first set of interrogatories to Adams Land and Cattle and Adams III.

In his suit, 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."

Allegedly, 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, court papers say.

The 14-count suit alleges, however, Adams 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.

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.

Alto Watson III, Gilbert T. Adams Jr. and Curtis Soileau of the Law Offices of Gilbert T. Adams in Beaumont represent the plaintiffs.

The defendants are represented by attorney Rick Anderson of Roberts Merkel.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. A186-169

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