Cases & Deals

NACCO Industries wins in Ohio Supreme Court in lawsuit over oil and gas rights

Clients NACCO Industries, Inc.

In a victory for Jones Day's client North American Coal Royalty Company (a subsidiary of NACCO Industries, Inc.), which owns oil and gas rights in the Utica Shale, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an important decision on September 15, 2016, holding that the original 1989 version of Ohio's Dormant Mineral Act did not automatically cause severed oil and gas rights to be transferred to the surface owner without a judicial determination that the rights had been abandoned. The Supreme Court also held that any surface owner laying claim after 2006 to severed mineral rights must follow the procedures set forth in the Dormant Mineral Act as amended in 2006, including notice to the mineral rights holder. The decision answered in North American Coal's favor a question certified to the Supreme Court by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in connection with pending cross-motions for summary judgment.

Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration L.L.C., No. 2014-0804 (Ohio)