The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sean J. McLaughlin District Judge
ORDER CERTIFYING CLASS, APPOINTING CLASS COUNSEL, PRELIMINARILY APPROVING SETTLEMENT, AND APPROVING THE FORM AND MANNER OF NOTICE TO CLASS MEMBERS
This matter has come before the Court on an unopposed Omnibus Motion [Doc. No. 51] to Certify the Class, Appoint Class Counsel, Preliminarily Approve Settlement, and Approve the Form and Manner of Notice to Class Members (the "Motion"). In connection with a Settlement of this litigation, the above-named Plaintiffs (the "Named Plaintiffs") and the Defendant, Range Resources - Appalachia, LLC, ("Range") have entered into an Agreement and Stipulation of Settlement (the "Settlement Agreement"), by which they have set forth the proposed terms of settlement and agreed upon the form of a Notice of Class Action Settlement (the "Notice"), each of which are filed with the Court as Exhibits to the Motion.
The Court has considered the Motion, the Settlement Agreement, the Notice, the briefs and supporting affidavits and declarations filed by the parties, and all of the other pleadings, papers, and filings in this matter, and finding thereon good cause to do so,
IT IS ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED as follows:
1. Class Certification: The within action is hereby certified to proceed as a class action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) on behalf of a plaintiffs class defined as follows:
a) Class Membership. The membership of the Class shall consist of Persons who held a Royalty Interest in any Pennsylvania and/or Ohio oil and/or gas estate at any time after September 15, 2004 that was, is or became Owned by Range, its predecessors or affiliates at any time prior to October 13, 2010.
b) Exclusions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there shall be excluded from the Class,
i) Royalty Interest, to the extent included in the settlement of the class claims certified in the matter Charton v. MB Operating Co., Inc., Case No. 90-CV-110417 (Court of Common Pleas, Tuscarawas County, Ohio);
ii) A Royalty Interest, to the extent arising under an instrument which expressly prohibits the deduction of Post Production Costs.
iii) Any Person electing to be excluded from the Class;
iv) A Royalty Interest in any Ohio oil or gas estate, which estate became Owned by Range on or after April 1, 2010; and
v) A Royalty Interest in an Ohio oil or gas estate, which estate is among the undeveloped deep rights Owned by Range in Belmont, Columbiana and Jefferson County, Ohio that were retained by Range following the sale of Range's remaining Ohio oil and gas properties to an unrelated party on March 30, 2010.
c) Defined Terms: "Owned by Range" means oil and gas interests owned, leased or operated by Range, excluding those wells of which Range is a non-operator and/or is not vested with the right or obligation to calculate and pay the royalty. All other undefined capitalized terms used in the foregoing shall have the ...