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).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A group of plaintiffs who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment on April 12 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court, contending that they should be given leave to amend their complaint to add new plaintiffs (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on March 14 denied three motions for certification of an order for interlocutory appeal in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the issues raised by defendants in the action failed to meet statutory requirements for certification (In re Cobalt International Energy Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-3428, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32173).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on March 11 asked a Delaware federal court to consolidate two appeals filed by five asbestos personal injury claimants challenging bankruptcy court rulings confirming EFH's reorganization plan and denying certification for a class of future asbestos claimants (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.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 19 approved a $1.7 million settlement between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and Duke Energy Merchants LLC (DEM), one of the defendants in a lawsuit seeking damages for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 08-0312, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21263).
TROY, Mich. - A trial court properly granted summary judgment on behalf of power and telephone companies accused of creating an unsafe condition by allowing a utility pole to be placed near a tree, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 16 (Jennifer L. Terry v. Consumers Energy Company and Michigan Bell Telephone Company, No. 325017, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 303).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 12 dismissed an insurer's petition for review after the parties notified the high court that they settled the dispute arising out of coverage for damages associated with the blowout of an insured's gas well (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Petroplex Energy Inc., No. 15-0805, Texas Sup.).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 10 dismissed a complaint filed by the City of Evanston, Ill., against two energy companies for allegedly contaminating groundwater by improperly disposing of solid waste, ruling that the city's notice of intent to sue the companies was not specific enough to indicate the nature of the charges against them (Northern Illinois Gas Company v. City of Evanston, Ill. and City of Evanston, Ill. v. Northern Illinois Gas Company, No. 14-9227, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16331).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by four cigarette manufacturers to revisit the majority of corrective statements for dissemination to the media already endorsed by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals were rejected by a District of Columbia federal judge Feb. 8 as "ridiculous" and a "waste of precious time, energy and money" (United States, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 99-2496, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14744).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 9 voted 5-4 in favor of staying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement of the Clean Energy Plan in order for challenges from 30 states to proceed through the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (State of Nebraska v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 15A793, U.S. Sup.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on Feb. 8 fined Duke Energy Carolinas LLC $6,631,005.41 million for a coal ash spill at the company's power plant on the Dan River (In the matter of: Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, No. DV-2016-0017, NCDEQ, Rockingham Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Feb. 5 announced that it has approved a more than $8.08 million settlement agreement between Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO-CLC (Steelworkers), ending a strike dispute (Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co., No. 19-CA-147090, NLRB, Region 19; Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co., No. 21-CA-146968, NLRB, Region 21).
CHICAGO - Citing the "farcical nature" of a television commercial for the popular 5-Hour Energy drink, an Illinois federal judge on Feb. 1 dismissed allegations of false advertising and invasion of privacy levied against the drink maker (Johannes T. Martin v. Living Essentials LLC, No. 15-1647, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11287).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina on Jan. 29 denied a motion filed by Duke Energy Carolinas LLC in which the company sought certification for an interlocutory appeal in a groundwater contamination case, ruling that the company failed to carry its burden of demonstrating that there were "extraordinary circumstances" warranting the appeal (Yadkin Riverkeeper, et al. v. Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, No. 14-00753, M.D. N.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Jan. 27 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by a corporation and certain of its executive officers in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that some of the alleged misrepresentations cited by the lead plaintiff in making his claims are nonactionable (In re Energy Recovery Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-0265, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9781).