Judge says man wasn’t deceived

LISBON – A Columbiana County Common Pleas Court judge has ruled against a property owner who claimed he was fraudulently convinced to sign a lease for mineral rights on his property and that he did not understand the lease agreement.

Judge Scott Washam ruled this week that the property owner, David Yoskey, is not entitled to claims of fraudulent inducement, because he has not returned the money given to him by the companies leasing his property. Delay rental payments were received by Yoskey totalling about $360 per year.

Yoskey reportedly testified he was willing and able to return the money; however, Washam has ruled the money must be returned before fraudulent inducement is considered.

Fraudulent inducement is defined as the use of deceit which causes a person to act to his own disadvantage.

Yoskey is contending he was misled into signing the lease by Tim Silker, a land man from Eric Petroleum. However, according to Washam, Yoskey testified in a deposition that he did not read the lease before he signed it, even though he knew it to be a binding legal agreement.

Finally, Washam ruled in favor of putting the time element of the lease on hold, a request by defendants Chesapeake Exploration and Eric Petroleum, who claimed they are not able to exercise their rights granted by the lease while the results of the lawsuit are in question.

Washam ruled any time period of the lease is currently on hold, starting on the date Yoskey filed the lawsuit, Dec. 21, 2012. The time period covered by the lease will remain on hold until any possible appeals have been settled.