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Ky. court overturns $24 million royalty verdict

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Court of Appeals has overturned a $24.7 million jury verdict against Texas-based Atmos Energy stemming from a lawsuit by landowners who claimed they didn't get their rightful royalties from an oil and gas project.

The appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial in the case of landowners who sued Atmos Energy of Dallas.

An Edmonson County jury in 2010 awarded about $7.7 million to the landowners, and the rest to a company owned by Robert Thorpe, which acted as a third-party producer in the project.

The jury initially awarded $31.35 million, but post-trial motions knocked $7 million off the final judgment.

The appeals court also dismissed claims against Atmos for fraud, conversion, negligence, "excessive fees," and intentional interference with a contract.


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