After a month-long trial, The Kim Law Firm secured a $100 million jury award for Matrix Petroleum on Sept. 19 in South Texas. The jury sided with the plaintiff, that it had lost substantial proceeds from oil wells in the Eagle Ford Shale, a sedimentary rock formation found in the southern and eastern parts of the Lone Star state.
Lead trial attorney John H. Kim alleged that exploration company Talisman Energy, which is owned by Spanish oil giant Repsol, committed fraud through its accounting methods and breach of the Joint Operating Agreement. Matrix was a non-operating working interest partner with Talisman in oil production leases on the Cooke Ranch near Cotulla, Texas.
“The simple fact was that Talisman failed to provide accurate accounting on volume and revenues for more than five years,” says Mr. Kim. “It was not an oversight or an error in record-keeping. It was a conscious business decision that robbed Talisman’s business partners of millions upon millions of dollars in its revenues from real property interests.”
According to court records, shortly after acquiring interest in the Cooke Ranch fields in 2011, Talisman instead began drilling three wells on an adjacent lease. That left the Cooke Ranch field idle and nearly resulted in the loss of drilling rights as work there did not begin within the required 90 days. When questioned about their actions by Matrix officials, Talisman representatives were reportedly dismissive of the concerns of their lease partners.
Since that time, Talisman acted unilaterally “hundreds” of times on developmental and operational matters in direct violation of the production field governing documents for Cooke Ranch, including the controlling Joint Operating Agreement from 1954.
Additional lawyers representing the plaintiff from the Kim Law Firm were Tim Rothberg, Denise Kim (lawyer and jury consultant), and Crystal Dang. The trial was held in La Salle County’s 218th Judicial District of Texas and presided by Judge Russell Wilson.
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