Appeals Court Rules Law Firm Can Be Sued Over $150 Million Frac Sand Deal

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that ousted frac sand supplier Minerals Development & Supply Company can sue in state court the law firm of Hunton & Williams and its clients Superior Silica Sands LLC and its owners for their alleged fraudulent activity, overturning a Wisconsin court decision that dismissed the $150 million case last year, according to a law firm press release (Minerals Development & Supply v. Hunton & Williams LLP, et al., No. 11-3460, 7th Cir.).

According to a news release from Konicek & Dillon, P.C. Attorney at Law:

Ousted supplier claims attorneys from Hunton & Williams, a Virginia based law firm, allegedly tortiously interfered with its supply of frac sand while Hunton & Williams was representing Superior Silica Sands LLC and its owners, Insight Equity, a Southlake, Texas, private equity firm.

Shortly after the supplier was ousted, Superior Silica Sands LLC built a new frac sand processing facility of its own in New Auburn, Wis. The ousted supplier has sued Hunton & Williams and their clients for $150 million, the amount of the contract. Attorneys are further seeking punitive damages for Hunton & Williams and Superior Silica Sands alleged fraudulent activities.

Minerals Development & Supply Company will be filing an amended complaint in state court adding Lester Pines of Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, a Madison, Wis., law firm representing Hunton & Williams, as a defendant for his failure to disclose his relationship with former Appellate Judge Gordon Myse in an arbitration matter concerning the parties.

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