ST. LOUIS - A federal court wrongly excluded an expert witness for an Arkansas couple accusing a hydraulic fracturing company of trespass and improperly awarded summary judgment to the company based on the couple's lack of sufficient evidence, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 22 in reversing and remanding (Robbie Hill, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Company, et al., No. 15-3458, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8862).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A company sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an additional brief in Oklahoma federal court on May 5 contending that the plaintiffs cannot designate the company's CEO as a specific witness under federal procedural rules (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al. and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on May 8 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court arguing that 10 prior orders issued in a lawsuit brought against it by residents who argue that the company is liable for contaminating their drinking water should be adopted in another lawsuit that asserts the same causes of action (Albin Family Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 16-910, W.D. Okla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 4 granted a partial motion to dismiss claims in an action filed by a solar energy company that alleges that a former employee violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breached a confidentiality agreement when she began working for a competitor (SolarCity Corporation v. Sunpower Corporation, et al., No. 16-CV-05509, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68639).
CINCINNATI - A district court did not err in finding that a disability insurer's denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was reasonable because the denial is supported by substantial evidence, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 2 (Stanley D. Rothe v. Duke Energy Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 16-4225, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7904).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 1 held that an underlying complaint did not contain allegations sufficient to constitute a claim of disparagement against an insured, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has no duty to defend because coverage was not triggered (Green4all Energy Solutions, Inc. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 1-16-2499, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 874).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on April 26 stayed briefing on an appeal filed by four asbestos personal injury claimants who say several affiliates of debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) did not have a valid bankruptcy purpose when filing their Chapter 11 petitions but rather filed for bankruptcy as a litigation tactic to evade asbestos liabilities (Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 17-9, D. Del.).
NEW YORK - An English energy supplier on April 18 filed an ex parte application in a New York federal court, seeking assistance in obtaining certain evidence held by a bank for use in an international arbitration commenced by it in relation to a dispute over the alleged forced taking of power-generating equipment by the Commonwealth of Australia (In re Application of APR Energy Holdings Limited for Judicial Assistance in obtaining Evidence in this District for Use in a Foreign and International Proceeding Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1782, No. 1:17-cv-02784, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 18 registered a request filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to annul a $161.6 million arbitral award issued in favor of investors in two Venezuelan entities (Tenaris S.A. and Talta - Trading e Marketing Sociedade Unipessoal Lda. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/12/23, ICSID).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 4 declined to bar testimony from real estate appraisers in a dispute over a lease's purchase option between a gasoline retailer and a landlord because excluding either appraisal would upset the current balance (Buchanan Energy [N] LLC v. Lake Bluff Holdings LLC, No. 15-3851, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51403).
ALEXANDRIA, La. - After granting a request to dismiss a Bermuda insurer who removed an action filed by an injured electrician from a state court based on an arbitration agreement with an energy company named as a defendant, a Louisiana federal judge on April 3 granted the claimant's motion to remand the case to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Garrett L. Faulk, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 2:16-CV-01461, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51675).
DENVER - An oil and gas company that is a class representative in a royalty dispute with a hydraulic fracturing company on April 3 moved in Colorado federal court for permission to file a restricted revised response in opposition to the fracking company's motion for summary judgment to protect confidential business information (Phelps Oil And Gas LLC v. Noble Energy Inc., No. 14-2604, D. Colo.).
SUBIACO, Western Australia - An Australian energy firm on March 23 announced that it will commence arbitration with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) against a uranium holding company, asserting claims related to a notice requesting that it determine the value of its shares in a mine.
LONDON - An English exploration company on March 23 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the Republic of Italy, asserting that it breached the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on March 17 decided several motions to exclude testimony in a putative class action against the manufacturer and retailers of a washer that was not energy efficient despite a label on the product (Charlene Dzielak, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., et al., No. 12-0089, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39232).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on March 15 substantially dismissed a securities class action complaint against a solar energy products manufacturer and certain of its executive officers, ruling that shareholders failed to plead the requisite elements of a majority of their federal securities laws claims (Kevin T. Know, et al. v. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-4003, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37223).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit over a proposed merger deal have failed to show that a shareholder did not provide sufficient evidence to support his claims that the defendants issued a series of misrepresentations and omissions in a proxy and registration statement for the deal in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Delaware ruled March 13 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Robert Hurwitz v. LRR Energy LP, et al., No. 15-711, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35108).
HOUSTON - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company, several of its executive officers and directors and others may amend their complaint to add a claim for relief because their motion was filed prior to the deadline for amendments and amendment would not be futile, a federal judge in Texas ruled March 10 in granting the motion (In re Cobalt International Energy Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-3428, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34437).
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana law will govern a survivorship claim as its application does not substantially affect Idaho, while the latter state's policy against punitive damages precludes allowing that claim to proceed in an asbestos action, a federal judge in Louisiana held March 6 (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La.).