Important Update: Following the Final Fairness Hearing on March 2, 2020, the Court entered the orders finally approving the class action settlement. Copies of the orders are available for download from the Important Documents page. The settlement requires that the Order and Final Judgment become Final and Non-Appealable before the distribution of settlement benefits can occur.
What is this lawsuit about?
The Litigation seeks damages for Defendant’s alleged failure to pay the required statutory interest on late payments of oil and gas proceeds. Defendant denies any and all of Plaintiff’s factual and legal allegations. Defendant also expressly denies all liability related to Plaintiff’s allegations of violation of Oklahoma law and for any type of fraud, and it further states that neither Plaintiff nor any of the Class Members are entitled to the relief sought in the Litigation and further state that it would not be appropriate to award any type of damages. Defendant further denies it would be appropriate to certify a contested class based on the facts and claims at issue in the Litigation.
What does the Settlement provide?
In consideration of the Settlement, Defendant has agreed to pay $19,500,000 in cash. In addition, commencing with payments of O&G Proceeds made by Newfield to Owners after May 31, 2019, Newfield will: (1) implement new procedures and policies reasonably calculated to accomplish the payment of statutory interest on Untimely Payments at the applicable rate of interest set out in the PRSA to Owners in Oklahoma Wells, without awaiting a demand for said interest payment, and will maintain such procedures (or other policies and procedures reasonably calculated to accomplish the same result) unless or until there is a change in the law; and (2) take steps and/or continue to take steps reasonably calculated to comply with Oklahoma law regarding the exercise of due diligence and the conduct of meaningful searches to locate Owners prior to paying their O&G Proceeds over to various state agencies as unclaimed and/or abandoned property. Plaintiff estimates these Future Benefits have a net present value of at least $12,000,000.00. See the Settlement Agreement for full details.
The Settlement, if approved, will result in the dismissal of the Complaint against Defendant and the release by all Class Members of all the Released Claims the Releasing Parties may have against the Released Parties.
Who is included?
The Settlement Class consists of the following individuals and entities:
All non-excluded persons or entities:
- who received an Untimely Payment from Defendant between August 1, 2005 and May 31, 2019 for O&G Proceeds from Oklahoma Wells and whose payment(s) did not also include statutory interest prescribed by the PRSA; and/or
- whose O&G Proceeds were paid by Defendant to various state agencies between August 1, 2005 and May 31, 2019 as unclaimed or abandoned property without the payment of statutory interest prescribed by the PRSA.
To learn more about who is excluded, please read the Notice of Proposed Settlement.