Lee v. Trinity Operating (USG), LLC, et al.
Lee v. Trinity Operating

Frequently Asked Questions


Expand/Collapse All
  • The Litigation seeks damages for Defendants’ and/or PetroQuest’s alleged failure to pay statutory interest on allegedly late payments under Oklahoma law. Defendants expressly deny all allegations of wrongdoing or liability with respect to the claims and allegations in the Litigation. The Court has made no determination with respect to the merits of any of the parties’ claims or defenses. A more complete description of the Litigation, its status, and the rulings made in the Litigation are available in the pleadings and other papers maintained by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in the file for the Litigation.

  • The Settlement Class in the Litigation consists of the following individuals and entities:

    All non-excluded persons or entities who: (1) received Untimely Payments from Defendants (or Defendants’ designees, including PetroQuest Energy, L.L.C. as contract operator) for oil-and-gas proceeds from Oklahoma wells during the Claim Period, and (2) who have not already been paid in full for statutory interest on the Untimely Payments. An “Untimely Payment” for purposes of this class definition means payment of proceeds from the sale of oil and gas production from an oil-and-gas well, including unclaimed property payments, after the statutory periods identified in Okla. Stat. tit 52, § 570.10(B)(1), (i.e., commencing not later than six (6) months after the date of first sale, and thereafter not later than the last day of the second succeeding month after the end of the month within which such production is sold). Untimely Payments do not include: (a) payments of proceeds to an owner under Okla. Stat. tit 52, § 570.10(B)(3) (minimum pay); (b) prior period adjustments; or (c) pass-through payments.

    The persons or entities excluded from the Class are: (1) agencies, departments, or instrumentalities of the United States of America or the State of Oklahoma, including any Indian tribe as defined at 30 U.S.C. § 1702(4) or Indian allottee as defined at 30 U.S.C. § 1702(2); (2) Defendants, their affiliates, predecessors, and employees, officers, and directors; (3) publicly traded oil and gas companies and their affiliates; (4) persons or entities that Plaintiff's counsel may be prohibited from representing under Rule 1.7 of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct; (5) persons or entities who have already filed and still have pending or settled lawsuits for Untimely Payments against Defendants; and (6) Plaintiff’s counsel, their experts, and officers of the Court.

    Claim Period means checks or payments made or issued by Defendants and/or PetroQuest dated between and including January 1, 2015, through May 31, 2022, subject to the terms of this Settlement Agreement regarding Released Claims.

  • On January 11, 2023, the Court preliminarily approved a Settlement in the Litigation between Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and the Settlement Class, and Defendants. This approval and the Notice are not an expression of opinion by the Court as to the merits of any of the claims or defenses asserted by any of the parties to the Litigation, or of whether the Court will ultimately approve the Settlement Agreement.

    In settlement of the Litigation, Defendants have agreed to pay Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000.00) in cash (“Gross Settlement Fund”). In exchange for the payment noted above and other consideration outlined in the Settlement Agreement, the Settlement Class shall release the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) against the Released Parties (as defined in the Settlement Agreement). The $15,000,000.00 cash payment is referred to as the “Gross Settlement Fund.” The Gross Settlement Fund, less Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees and Litigation Expenses and Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs, and other costs approved by the Court (the “Net Settlement Fund”), will be distributed to final Class Members pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, along with the PetroQuest Settlement Funds, which were separately contributed by PetroQuest Energy, L.L.C. The Settlement Agreement also includes Future Benefits for the Settlement Class.

    Class Counsel intends to seek an award of Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees of not more than 40% of the Gross Settlement Fund. Co-Lead Class Counsel Reagan E. Bradford and Ryan K. Wilson of Bradford & Wilson have been litigating this case for over six years without any payment whatsoever, advancing hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. At the Final Fairness Hearing, Plaintiff’s Counsel will also seek reimbursement of the litigation and administration expenses incurred in connection with the prosecution of this Litigation and that will be incurred through final distribution of the Settlement, which is estimated to be approximately $350,000.00. In addition, Plaintiff intends to seek a case contribution award for his representation of the Class, which amount will not exceed 1.5% of the Gross Settlement Fund, to compensate Plaintiff for his time, expense, risk and burden as serving as Class Representative.

    The Court must approve the Allocation Methodology, which describes how the Settlement Administrator will allocate the Net Settlement Fund and the PetroQuest Settlement Funds. Those funds will be distributed by the Settlement Administrator after the Effective Date of the Settlement. The Effective Date requires the exhaustion of any appeals, which may take a year or more after the entry of Judgment. The Settlement may be terminated on several grounds, including if the Court does not approve or materially modifies the terms of the Settlement. If the Settlement is terminated, the Litigation will proceed as if the Settlement had not been reached.

    The Notice does not and cannot set out all the terms of the Settlement Agreement, which is available for review at the Important Documents page. The website will eventually include the Notice, the Initial Plan of Allocation, and Plaintiff’s Counsel’s application for Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees and Litigation Expenses, Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs, and any other costs awarded by the Court. You may also receive information about the progress of the Settlement by visiting the Home page, or by contacting the Settlement Administrator.

  • The Final Fairness Hearing will be held on April 17, 2023, beginning at 10:30 a.m., before the Honorable Kimberly E West, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, 101 North 5th Street, Muskogee, OK 74401. Please note that the date of the Fairness Hearing is subject to change without further notice. You should check the Home page to confirm no change to the date and time of the hearing has been made. At the Final Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider: (a) whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; (b) any timely and properly raised objections to the Settlement; (c) the Allocation Methodology; (d) the application for Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees and Litigation Expenses and Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs; and (e) the application for a Case Contribution Award for the Class Representative.


  • By taking no action, your interests will be represented by Plaintiff as the Class Representative and Plaintiff’s Counsel. As a Class Member, you will be bound by the outcome of the Settlement, if finally approved by the Court. The Class Representative and Plaintiff’s Counsel believe that the Settlement is in the best interest of the Class, and, therefore, they intend to support the proposed Settlement at the Final Fairness Hearing. As a Class Member, if you are entitled to a distribution pursuant to the Allocation Methodology, you will receive your portion of the Net Settlement Fund and the PetroQuest Settlement Funds, and you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and all orders and judgments entered by the Court regarding the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, neither you nor any other Releasing Party will be able to start a lawsuit or arbitration, continue a lawsuit or arbitration, or be part of any other lawsuit against any of the Released Parties based on any of the Released Claims.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself has passed. If you did not wish to be a member of the Settlement Class, then you had to serve a Request for Exclusion on the Settlement Administrator, Defendants’ Counsel, and Plaintiff’s Counsel by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that it was received no later than 5 p.m. CT on March 27, 2023. Requests for Exclusion may be mailed as follows:

    Settlement Administrator

    Lee v. Trinity Operating Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator
    P.O. Box 91306
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Co-Lead Class Counsel

    Reagan E. Bradford
    Ryan K. Wilson
    Bradford & Wilson PLLC
    431 W. Main Street, Suite D
    Oklahoma City, OK 73102

    Defendants' Counsel

    Michael D. Morfey
    Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
    600 Travis Street, Suite 4200
    Houston, Texas 77002

    If you did not follow these procedures—including mailing the Request for Exclusion so that it was received by the deadline set out above—you will not be excluded from the Settlement Class, and you will be bound by all of the orders and judgments entered by the Court regarding the Settlement, including the release of claims. You had to exclude yourself if you are not expressly excluded by the Settlement Class definition. You could not have excluded yourself on the website, by telephone, facsimile, or by e-mail. If you validly requested exclusion as described above, you will not receive any distribution from the Net Settlement Fund or the PetroQuest Settlement Funds, you cannot object to the Settlement, and you will not have released any claim against the Released Parties. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in the Litigation.

  • The deadline has passed to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement, any term of the Settlement, the Allocation Methodology, the Plan of Allocation, the request for Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees and Litigation Expenses and Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs, or the request for a Case Contribution Award to Class Representative may file an objection. An objector had to file with the Court and serve upon Class Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel a written objection containing the following: (a) a heading referring to Lee v. Trinity Operating (USG), LLC, et al., Case No. 16-CV-516-KEW, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma; (b) a statement as to whether the objector intends to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing, either in person or through counsel, and, if through counsel, counsel must be identified by name, address, and telephone number; (c) a detailed statement of the specific legal and factual basis for each and every objection; (d) a list of any witnesses the objector may call at the Final Fairness Hearing, together with a brief summary of each witness’s expected testimony (to the extent the objector desires to offer expert testimony and/or an expert report, any such evidence must fully comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Local Rules of the Court); (e) a list of and copies of any exhibits the objector may seek to use at the Final Fairness Hearing; (f) a list of any legal authority the objector may present at the Final Fairness Hearing; (g) the objector’s name, current address, current telephone number, and all owner identification numbers with Defendants; (h) the objector’s signature executed before a Notary Public; (i) identification of the objector’s interest in wells for which Defendants and/or PetroQuest remitted oil and gas proceeds (by well name, well number, payee name, payee number, and county in which the well is located) during the Claim Period and identification of any payments by date of payment, date of production, and amount; and (j) if the objector is objecting to any portion of the Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees or Litigation Expenses and Administration, Notice, and Distribution Costs, or a Case Contribution Award sought by Class Representative or Class Counsel on the basis that the amounts requested are unreasonably high, the objector must specifically state the portion of such requests he/she/it believes is fair and reasonable and the portion that is not. Such written objections had to be filed with the Court and served on Plaintiff’s Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel, via certified mail return receipt requested, and received no later than 5 p.m. CT by March 27, 2023, at the addresses set forth above. Any Class Member that failed to timely file the written objection statement and provide the required information will not be permitted to present any objections at the Final Fairness Hearing. Your written objection also had to be timely filed with the Court at the address below:

    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
    101 North 5th Street
    Muskogee, OK 74401


  • You have the right to retain your own attorney to represent you at the Final Fairness Hearing. If you retain separate counsel, you will be responsible to pay his or her fees and expenses out of your own pocket.

  • The Notice summarizes the Settlement Agreement, which sets out all of its terms. You may obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement with its exhibits, as well as other relevant documents, from the Important Documents page on this website, or you may request copies by contacting the Settlement Administrator. In addition, the pleadings and other papers filed in this Action, including the Settlement Agreement, are available for inspection in at the Office of the Clerk of the Court, set forth in FAQ 7, and may be obtained by the Clerk’s office directly. The records are also available on-line for a fee through the PACER service at www.pacer.gov/. If you have any questions about the Notice, you may consult an attorney of your own choosing at your own expense or Class Counsel.


For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Lee v. Trinity Operating Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91306
Seattle, WA 98111