CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Court documents say the second-largest natural gas producer in West Virginia will pay $53.5 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit over royalty payments to residents and businesses.
News outlets report the deal’s terms were unsealed Wednesday. Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. agreed to pay the money to settle the suit brought for about 9,000 people who alleged that it wrongly deducted charges from royalty checks.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Marvin Masters says the settlement is encouraging after six years of litigation.
EQT CEO Robert McNally says the company is working to earn West Virginians’ trust.
A U.S. District Court judge in Clarksburg gave the settlement preliminary approval Monday. The payments won’t be made until a process for public notice of the terms and a July fairness hearing in Wheeling is complete.