United States Fourth Circuit

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Whiteman v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, 12-1790

Summary judgment to defendant on plaintiffs' claim for common law trespass, arising from the drilling and operation by defendant of three natural gas wells on surface property owned by plaintiffs, is affirmed, where: 1) under West Virginia law, ownership of a mineral estate carries with it "an implied right to use the surface in such manner and with such means as would be fairly necessary for the enjoyment" of the mineral estate provided it does not impose a substantial burden on the surface; and 2) defendant's permanent disposal of drill waste upon the plaintiff' surface property is "reasonably necessary" for the extraction of minerals and did not impose a substantial burden on the plaintiffs' surface property.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 09/04/2013
  • Published 09/04/2013




  • United States Fourth Circuit


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