Featured Cases

May 9, 2008

Gardner, et al. v. Shell Oil Co.

Jury Awards $66,830,916.00

On May 9, 2008, a Jury in Stephens County found against Shell Oil Co. in favor of the Plaintiffs who were represented by Clark Brewster and Guy Fortney of Brewster and De Angelis, P.L.L.C. and Randal Calvert of the Calvert Law Firm in Oklahoma City. The Jury awarded $13,205,916.00 for Shell Oil Co.'s false representation, nondisclosure or concealment, deceit and/or constructive fraud and a breach of fiduciary duty. and $53,625,000 in punitive damages.

This case arose out of a dispute over Plaintiffs' share of profits from the "Crews Lease" for the period from 1973 through 1985. Plaintiffs own an interest in the Crews Lease which grants them the right to 1/4th of the net profits derived from the lease. Shell began operating the Crews Lease in 1948.

In 1973, Shell drilled a deeper well to the Sycamore formation named the Brittain Deep #2. The well was fantastically successful. The well which only cost $170,000 to drill and complete, produced over $14 million in revenue during the time Shell operated the Crews Lease. Shell did not include the income from this well in the calculations of net profits sent to the Plaintiffs.

At the end of 1985, Shell sold the Crews Lease in a package of properties to Maynard Oil Company. Correspondence between Maynard, Shell and internal Shell documents demonstrate that Shell knew it had not properly paid the Plaintiffs for their share of the profits from the Crews Lease.