Announces Favorable Ruling in its Antitrust Suit against CNX Gas Corporation and Consol Energy, Inc.; GeoMet Ready to Proceed to Discovery and Trial
Houston, Texas- June 8, 2009 - GeoMet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMET) announces that a state court in Virginia has upheld its principal antitrust claims against CNX Gas Company LLC, Consol Energy, Inc., and certain of their affiliates (collectively, “CNX”), which are defendants in GeoMet’s lawsuit seeking $385.6 million in damages for alleged violations of the Virginia Antitrust Act and other state law claims.
The lawsuit, filed in 2007 by GeoMet and its subsidiaries, seeks damages from CNX for alleged efforts to monopolize the markets for production and transportation of coalbed methane in the Oakwood Field in southwestern Virginia. In 2008, GeoMet amended its complaint in response to a demurrer ruling from the court, and CNX filed new demurrers to the amended complaint. On June 3, 2009, the Tazewell County Circuit Court issued a ruling that denied CNX’s demurrers with respect to four of GeoMet’s five state-law antitrust claims for monopolization and attempted monopolization. The trial court’s ruling did grant the demurrers on one antitrust theory pleaded by GeoMet and on claims of state-law tortious interference. As a result of this ruling, GeoMet may proceed to full discovery and move towards a trial on its antitrust monopolization and attempted monopolization claims, for which it seeks $385.6 million in actual damages, with the possibility for trebling of those damages under the statute, as well as injunctive relief. GeoMet intends to aggressively pursue discovery and trial in this matter.
GeoMet CEO Darby Seré, commenting on the ruling, said: “We are very pleased with the Court’s careful and considered ruling. This is a substantial step forward for the Company in its efforts to secure just compensation for the damaging campaign by CNX Gas and Consol Energy to force GeoMet out of the market for coalbed methane production and transportation in southwestern Virginia. This ruling is especially noteworthy in light of CNX’s recent disclosure in its public filings that the Virginia Attorney General is investigating CNX for possible violations of the Virginia Antitrust Act in connection with CNX’s activities in southwestern Virginia.”
Forward-Looking Statements Notice
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Careful consideration should be given to cautionary statements made in the various reports the Company has filed with the SEC. GeoMet undertakes no duty to update or revise these forward-looking statements.