Federal judge in Oklahoma City combines Chesapeake lawsuits, Thirteen lawsuits against the board of Chesapeake Energy Corp. have been combined into one case by a federal judge in Oklahoma City

Federal judge in Oklahoma City combines Chesapeake lawsuits, Thirteen lawsuits against the board of Chesapeake Energy Corp. have been combined into one case by a federal judge in Oklahoma City by Jay F. Marks, July 17, 2012
U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange agreed to consolidate the cases last week at the request of several plaintiffs who have filed breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits over the past few months. The Chesapeake shareholders sued the company’s board since April, when published reports detailed up to $1.1 billion in personal loans secured by CEO Aubrey McClendon against his stake in Chesapeake wells. Some loans came from companies that have invested in Chesapeake. “The derivative actions all allege that various officers and directors of Chesapeake breached their fiduciary duties to Chesapeake and its shareholders by permitting material disclosure violations,” the judge wrote in her ruling Friday. “Each derivative action seeks to ensure that any damages suffered by Chesapeake by reason of these alleged violations and other alleged fiduciary breaches are borne by the individual defendants and not by Chesapeake and its shareholders.” Miles-LaGrange agreed to consolidate the cases because of “substantial overlap of common issues of fact and law.” None of the plaintiffs objected to the move. The judge declined to designate a lead plaintiff, but she did designate the Louisiana-based firm of Kahn, Swick & Foti LLC as lead counsel. Oklahoma City’s Strong, Martin and Associates will serve as local counsel.

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