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Humble Oil & Refining Co. v. Kishi

276 S.W. 190, 291 S.W. 538 (1927)

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Humble Oil & Refining Co. v. Kishi

Texas Commission of Appeals

276 S.W. 190, 291 S.W. 538 (1927)

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Facts

Kishi (plaintiff) owned the surface and three-fourths of the mineral rights of a 50-acre tract of land. Kishi leased to Humble Oil & Refining Co. (Humble) (defendant) the exclusive right to drill for oil on the land for a period of three years. Humble never drilled on the land, so the lease expired. Humble later learned that oil was found in the adjacent tract of land, so, believing that its lease was still valid, came onto Kishi’s property and drilled for oil. But Humble found no oil on Kishi’s property. Kishi brought suit to recover damages for trespass. The district court found in favor of Kishi but awarded him only nominal damages. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Kishi was entitled to actual damages, but that proof of market value wasn’t legally sufficient to sustain a judgment. Kishi appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bishop, J.)

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