Yesterday, a federal district court in West Virginia dismissed a suit against Range Resources - Appalachia, LLC, without prejudice. The suit had alleged that, in the fall of 2008, representatives from Range approached the plaintiff landowners to discuss leasing their gas reserves and that Range entered into a binding contract with the landowners by sending a letter, dated November 11, that the landowners allegedly accepted. The November 11 letter had been sent in response to the landowners' execution and return of a "Dear Property Owner" letter, and it had stated that Range was open to an alternative bargain. In January, the Court concluded in an unpublished order that the November 11th letter was not an offer because it contained no definitive promises or obligations from Range.
Plaintiffs sought to amend their complaint and to amend or alter the Court's order granting the motion to dismiss of the defendant, which had not been docketed pending resolution of the motion to amend. Treating the motions as a motion for reconsideration, the court upheld its prior determination, noting that given the language in the DPO letter and the landowners' failure to allege that oral representations constituted part of the offers they received, they had failed to state a plausible claim for breach of contract. The court likewise dismissed the other claims raised by plaintiffs. Kerns v. Range Resources - Appalachia, CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:10CV23, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93920, August 23, 2011, Decided [enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers].
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