The Superior Court issued a non-precedential opinion reinforcing the importance of examining the chain of title prior to sale.
In McDonald v. CNX Gas Co., LLC, 240 A.3d 917 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2020), a landowner purchased property in Morris Township and sought declaratory relief, an accounting, and damages based on alleged trespass by the operator. The trial court dismissed all of plaintiff’s claims and granted CNX’s motion for summary judgment. The Superior Court affirmed, finding that the landowner could not claim bona-fide purchaser status because he had ample notice of CNX’s 1977 oil and gas lease that had been repeatedly recorded in the chain of title. The Superior Court emphasized that a landowner is chargeable with notice of everything affecting his title and has a duty to investigate the status of any oil and gas lease disclosed in the chain.
Please contact your Metz Lewis relationship attorney or a member of our Oil and Gas team if you have any questions or wish to discuss.
This post was written by Brian Must, Josh Baker and Alison Viola