After the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia rejected Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s petition for appeal from the $404 million verdict in Estate of Garrison G. Tawney v. Columbia Natural Resources, LLC, Chesapeake and NiSource, Inc. filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. 

But on Thursday, Judge Tom Evans of the Circuit Court of Roane County, West Virginia preliminarily approved a settlement in which the defendants will pay $380 million and drop their appeals.  Here are NiSource’s press release announcing the settlement, Associated Press reporter Tim Huber’s article in the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, and Ken Ward, Jr.’s article in yesterday’s Charleston Gazette

NiSource will pay $338.8 million of the settlement, with Chesapeake paying the balance of $41.2 million.

Class members may still object to the settlement or opt out.  Judge Evans has scheduled a final fairness hearing for November 22.