Court Upholds $4 Million Verdict Against Williams

The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a $4 million award to a Colorado farmer who claimed the Tulsa-based Williams Production Co. failed to pay him royalties.

Williams had appealed the 2004 verdict, arguing that evidence was excluded and that the jury instructions and damage calculations were flawed.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court rejected each argument.

The suit was filed by the late Colorado rancher William Clough, who owned 12,000 acres and was earning about $3 million a year in royalties from natural gas drilling on his land.

He argued that Williams had not paid him royalties from February 1996 to February 2004.

A Garfield County Colorado District Court jury agreed, finding Williams guilty of breach of contract and violating the state Consumer Protection Act.

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