DETROIT - Enbridge Energy L.P. and a number of its subsidiaries agreed July 19 to spend $110 million for a series of measures to prevent pipeline spills, pay a $62 million civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations, and reimburse the government for $5 million it spent to cleanup contamination from pipeline spills in Marshall, Mich., and Romeoville, Ill., in 2010, according to a recent docket entry in a Michigan federal court (United States of America v. Enbridge Energy L.P., et al., No. 16-cv-914, W.D. Mich.).
DENVER - A trial court erred in finding that no coverage is afforded for environmental contamination cleanup costs because the trial court failed to determine if the insurer was prejudiced by the insured's late notice of the claim, the Colorado Court of Appeals said July 14 (MarkWest Energy Partners L.P., v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 15-0770, Colo. App., Div. 1; 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 956).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 8 reversed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims in relation to a company's labeling of its energy drinks, finding that certain statements it made could have been misleading (Alec Fisher, et al. v. Monster Beverage Corporation, et al., No. 13-57094, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12608).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 reversed a lower federal court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on its duty to indemnify its engineering firm insured and the firm's employee against five underlying lawsuits arising from a fatal accident at a nuclear-powered energy plant (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., et al v. DP Engineering L.L.C., et al., No. 15-10443, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11951).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 22 granted a Chinese company's petition to confirm an award that was issued by a Hong Kong tribunal, ordering a British Virgin Islands entity to pay $476,700,190.49 in damages and interest (GE Transportation [Shenyang] Co. Ltd. v. A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd., No. 15-6194, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81367).
MADRID - A Canadian oil and gas company announced on June 20 that two entities owned by the Chinese government have commenced arbitration against it in relation to their investment in an energy firm.
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 17 granted Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P.'s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the state of California and city of San Diego over groundwater contamination under QualComm Stadium after the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle the suit (People of the State of California, et al. v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P., et al., No.07-cv-1883, S.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio appellate panel on June 10 reversed a grant of summary judgment for a utility's contractor in a negligence suit, finding that the company had no property interest in the premises and, therefore, could not employ the open-and-obvious doctrine defense (Florence and Edward Eschmann v. RLA Investments, Inc., and Duke Energy Ohio, Inc., et al., No. C-150576, Ohio App., 1st Dist., Hamilton Co.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 2213).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A wind energy company on June 13 filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to vacate an international arbitration award in which a tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) dismissed all claims asserted by it against Canada in relation to alleged violations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Mesa Power Group LLC v. Government of Canada, No. 16-cv-1101, D. D.C.).
HONG KONG - An energy firm on June 9 announced that it has sent two Chinese entities a formal notice of its intent to commence arbitration against them.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 6 released its award in arbitration commenced by two energy firms against the Republic of Panama, finding that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction over claims related to a hydro-electric power generation concession (Transglobal Green Energy LLC, et al. v. The Republic of Panama, No. ARB/13/28, ICSID).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 27 ruled that a company suing the former operators of a gas station that has allegedly contaminated local groundwater was entitled to reconsideration of its previously dismissed nuisance claim as to injunctive relief only (The Plumbing Supply LLC d/b/a Faucet Works v. Exxon Mobil Oil Corp, et al., and CPD NY Energy Corp. v. Cumberland Farms Inc., et al., No. 14CV3674, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69863).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 25 found that a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and copyright infringement asserted by a meditation center business and its owners should be dismissed, finding that the UCL claim was preempted by copyright law and that the plaintiffs failed to allege substantial similarity in relation to the copyrighted works (Divine Dharma Meditation Int'l Inc., et al. v. Institute of Latent Energy Studies, No. 16-226, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68890).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two potential asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) agreed May 23 to stay the briefing in their appeal of the debtor's plan of reorganization pending a decision in Delaware federal court on EFH's request to dismiss the appeal as moot due to the plan becoming null and void (Michael Cunningham, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1218, D. Del.; Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1183, D. Del.).
HONG KONG - An energy firm on May 24 announced that it has notified the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and CNOOC China Limited (CCL) of its intent to commence formal arbitration proceedings against them in relation to the alleged mismanagement of a gas field.
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on May 16 ruled that an expert for Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is permitted to testify at a trial for personal injuries claimed by residents who are suing HESI for releasing radioactive materials and perchlorate into the environment (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Proposed expedited protocols for confirmation of the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) should be rejected because they violate the due process rights of asbestos personal injury claimants, the two asbestos claimants on the debtor's committee of unsecured creditors say in a May 16 objection in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The hydraulic fracturing company and its affiliates being sued by residents who allege that the companies contaminated the groundwater in their Pennsylvania town on May 10 filed a brief arguing that a settlement between the parties should be enforced (Tammy Manning, et al. v. WPX Energy Appalachia LLC, No. 12-0646, M.D. Pa.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on May 2 denied a request by Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) to expedite consideration of dates and deadlines for confirmation of the company's revised plan of reorganization, which EFH was forced to file after its previously confirmed plan could not be effectuated (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - In a private nuisance lawsuit between a homeowner and wind turbine companies, experts cannot testify regarding the causal link between turbine-generated infrasound and adverse human health effects, an Oregon federal magistrate judge held April 28 (Daniel Brian Williams v. Invenergy, LLC and Willow Creek Energy, LLC, No. 13-01391, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57045).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The District Court of The Hague on April 20 reversed more than $50 billion in awards issued in three arbitration cases filed against the Russian Federation in relation to investments made in OAO Yukos Oil Co. (Yukos) after determining that the Russian Federation was not bound by the terms of the arbitration clause in the Energy Charter Treaty because the federation never ratified the treaty (The Russian Federation v. Veteran Petroleum Ltd., No. 477160; The Russian Federation v. Yukos Universal Ltd. [Isle of Man], No. 477162, The Russian Federation v. Hulley Enterprises Ltd., No. 481619, Hague Dist.).
LOS ANGELES - The absence of evidence that a refractory salesman or his peer group knew of the dangers of asbestos prevents application of the sophisticated doctrine, a California appeals court held in reversing a verdict on April 13 (Richard F. Moran III v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., No. B261682, Calif. Super., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 280).