Victory Obtained in First District Court of Appeals for Oil and Gas Client

The Houston-based First District Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgement ruling obtained by Kelly J. Curnutt and Logan W. Simmons on behalf of their oil and gas client. The plaintiff, a surface owner, sought over $500,000 in damages, alleging a purported violation of section 91.504 of the Texas Natural Resources Code. Mr. Curnutt and Mr. Simmons were able to obtain summary judgment on those claims, arguing, among other things, that damages were not available under section 91.504. Mr. Curnutt and Mr. Simmons then successfully defended the surface owner’s motion for new trial. On appeal, the surface owner raised three issues: (1) that he had presented a fact issue to defeat summary judgment; (2) that he had asserted claims other than the purported violation of section 91.504; and (3) that he had not been properly served with certain special exceptions. The Court of Appeals overruled all three of the surface owner’s issues, affirming the summary judgment ruling in favor of Mr. Curnutt and Mr. Simmons’ oil and gas client.