Getting Their Land Rights Back

By Erika Mahoney

Getting Their Land Rights Back

November 16, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM EDT

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Dozens of land owners in the Southern Tier are released from the grip of a gas company.

On Thursday, Coughlin and Gerhart won a lawsuit against Inflection Energy in federal court, ensuring 35 property owners in Tioga County can terminate gas leases signed in 2010 with the company.

Attorneys said Inflection Energy claimed the leases could be extended because of Governor Paterson's moratorium on high volume hydro-fracking in 2008.

But U.S. District Court Judge, Honorable David Hurd ruled in favor of the landowners.

"It wasn't easy for them to do this," said Attorney Robert Jones. "They all had to be patient, and they all had to work together. In the end, the result was fair, and I think it proves if you stand up for what you think is right, eventually in this country, I think justice will prevail."

Jones said the leases were very unfavorable to the landowners. The leases paid either $2 or $5 per acre, per year.

Meanwhile, Jones said leases in Pennsylvania can pay up to $3,000.

He added Coughlin and Gerhart is looking into helping other landowners in the Southern Tier who want to end their expired oil and gas leases.