Appeals court approves transfer of oil and gas case to Harris County

David Yates Jan. 22, 2013, 12:14pm

A Harris County company, which filed a suit in Jefferson County alleging its interests in oil and gas producing regions are not as profitable as they should be, will now be litigating the case in Harris County, thanks to an appeals court ruling. 

As previously reported, KBL E&P Limited Co. and Robert J. Keens filed a lawsuit Aug. 29 in Jefferson County District Court against Scott C. Becker, Frank C. Lytle and B&L Land-Management.

KBL and Keens claim they own interests in various oil and gas producing regions of Texas, including 939 leasehold acres in David Choate League in Jefferson County.

Nonetheless, on Dec. 20 Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the defendants’ motion to transfer venue, shipping the case Harris County, court papers say.

Keen appealed the ruling, and on Jan. 15 the Ninth Court of Appeals issued a memorandum opinion denying his petition.

“The relator has not established that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the motion to transfer venue on the record before the trial court at the time of its ruling,” states the court’s per curiam opinion. “Accordingly, we deny the petition for writ of mandamus.”

According to the complaint, the defendants have taken confidential information from KBL, including seismic cores, logs, prospect and land data, in an attempt to deny KBl and Keens from enjoying the use and benefits of their property.

“Plaintiffs aver that defendants have benefited from plaintiff KBL’s interest in the above-described real property and business opportunities, and proceeds from the sale thereof, without reimbursement of plaintiff commensurate with such use, profits, benefit and/or enrichment received by defendants, and defendants will be unjustly enriched by plaintiff if allowed to retain the use, profits, benefit and/or enrichment from same,” the suit states.

In their suit, KBL and Keens allege breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, unjust enrichment and negligence against the defendants.

KBL and Keens seek actual, exemplary and prospective damages, a declaration of rights in the property, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Robert Keith Wade of the Law Offices of Robert Keith Wade in Beaumont represent them.

Jefferson County case No. E192-969

Appeals case No. 09-13-00001-CV

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