OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - A stockholder is suing Chesapeake Energy Corp., CEO Robert Lawler and CFO Domenic Dell'Osso Jr., as well as the company board.
Terrence Saunders, who filed a class action lawsuit Oct. 4, individually and for others similarly situated, alleges CHK made false and misleading statements
regarding the company's operations and also released equally false and misleading
documents to the public in an effort to encourage investors to buy stock.
Chesapeake Energy Corp.,
founded in 1989 by former CEO Aubrey McClendon and co-founder Tom L. Ward, is
an Oklahoma City-based petroleum and oil exploration and production company.
The company went public in 1993 with an initial value of $25 million and was
added to the S&P 500 in 2006. By 2014, CHK had assets valued at $520
Controversy has followed CHK
since 2012, when the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began investigating the
company for collusion in lowering the price of oil exploration land in Michigan
during the run-up to a public auction.
Although that case went nowhere, two years
later CHK was again under investigation, this time for canceling land
leases for supposed erroneous reasons. That case was settled out of court
for $25 million in 2015.
The following year McClendon died in a single-occupant, single-vehicle
crash that occurred the day after a Justice Department federal grand jury
indicted the former CEO for violating antitrust laws during his tenure at
According to attorney Daniel Mirarchi of Spector
Roseman Kodroff & Willis (SRKW), a Philadelphia-based law firm representing
a large state pension fund joining the class action suit against CHK, the
recent pending case “comes off the heels of [the] DOJ investigation” but “how
it is interrelated, I can’t comment on.”
Mirarchi also told Legal
Newsline his firm and others are currently determining who will serve as the lead counsel on the case. They, much like the other firms involved, “looked at
the case and we think it has merit. We look forward to representing our client,”
Chesapeake Energy Corp was contacted for comment but
Legal Newsline received no
Saunders seeks trial by
jury, interest, court costs and any
further relief the court grants. He is represented by attorneys William B. Federman of
Federman & Sherwood in Oklahoma City; Jeremy A. Lieberman, J. Alexander
Hood II and Marc C. Gorrie of Pomerantz LLP in New York; and by Patrick V.
Dahlstrom of Pomerantz LLP in Chicago.