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West Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling in Favor of Cabot

On September 26, 2013, in the case of Thornsbury v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (2013 W. Va. LEXIS 958), the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that, although an oil and gas lease to Cabot affecting surface lands owned by Thornsbury contained road provisions, a subsequent 2006 right-of-way contract controlled the design and use of the well access road on the land.  The Supreme Court Opinion reversed a prior decision of the McDowell County Circuit Court granting summary judgment to Cabot, further holding that genuine issues of material fact remain as to the possible breach of the 2006 contract, and remanded the case for further proceedings.