The West Virginia Supreme Court threw-out an appeal yesterday by Chesapeake Energy related to a class-action suit and settlement in Roane County.

The court ruled 5-0 against the gas interests.

A Roane jury awarded $404 million against Chesapeake and other natural gas corporations in favor of royalty owners who claim they were cheated with royalty payments.

First reports say the court ruled 3-0 to throw-out the Chesapeake appeal of the Tawney verdict.

Tawney, a retired Roane County teacher and royalty owner, said the companies began charging their production costs against his ownership of royalty.

Royalty owners have widely objected to Chesapeake and other energy giants taking away their historical royalty rights.

The decision is a major blow to the corporations, who will likely take the case to the US Supreme Court.

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