Shell Oil Co., et al. v. Ross (Majority)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sued Shell for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and fraud, based on claims that Shell underpaid royalty due under a mineral lease to plaintiff's grandmother. At issue was whether limitations barred a royalty owner's claims against the operator of the field. The court held that the fraudulent concealment doctrine did not apply to extend limitations as a matter of law when the royalty underpayments could have been discovered from readily accessible and publicly available information before the limitations period expired. When, as in this case, the information was publicly available and readily accessible to the royalty owner during the applicable time period, a royalty owner who failed to take action did not use reasonable diligence as a matter of law. Accordingly, because the parties did not dispute that the pertinent information was readily accessible and publicly available, plaintiff's claims were time-barred as a matter of law.