ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 3 affirmed a district court's decision denying a hydraulic fracturing company a new trial, finding that the verdict was not tainted by juror misconduct with regard to its discussion about the relationship of fracking and earthquakes (Ruby Hiser v. XTO Energy, No. 13-3443, 8th Cir.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that a dispute related to the operation of a thermal power plant in Libya should be arbitrated pursuant to an underlying contract, a Florida federal judge on Sept. 29 granted an energy firm's motion to compel arbitration and for an anti-suit injunction barring litigation in Libya (APR Energy LLC v. First Investment Group Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-575, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137425).
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian energy company on Oct. 1 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the government of Kenya to resolve a dispute over production sharing contracts.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding no violation of due process or the right of defense in relation to a $43.03 million award issued in favor of an energy firm, a committee of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Sept. 23 released a decision denying a request filed by the Argentine Republic to annul the award (El Paso Energy International Co. v. The Argentine Republic, No. ARB/03/15, ICSID).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Sept. 22 denied a motion to dismiss a shareholder derivative lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who own shares in a hydraulic fracturing company, concluding that they alleged facts that when taken as a whole suggest illegal conduct by individuals who allegedly diverted fracking opportunities to a rival company (In Re: Sandridge Energy Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 13-102, W.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132330).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 17 ruled that a group that held royalties on oil and gas deposits had not honored the right-of-first-refusal provision in a contract with an energy company when they negotiated a separate contract with another hydraulic fracturing company (U.S. Energy Development Corporation v. L.E. Mallory, et al., No. 12-235, W.D. Pa.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 17 refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 12 energy companies against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, ruling that the court has jurisdiction over the suit (Murray Energy Corporation, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, No. 14-CV-39, N.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129196).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 17 agreed to amend rulings against Elk Run Coal Co. and Alex Energy Inc. in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit so the companies could appeal the decisions, explaining that the orders contained controlling issues of law (Ohio Valley Environmental coalition, et al. v. Elk Run Coal Company, No. 12-0785, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130123).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A federal judge in North Carolina on Sept. 17 denied Duke Energy Corp.'s motion to file a supplemental motion for summary judgment on a statute-of-limitations issue, finding that there is no new evidence or controlling case law to support the company's argument that the government's Clean Air Act (CAA) claim against it is untimely (United States of America, et al. v. Duke Energy Corporation, No. 00CV1262, M.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129805).
NEW YORK - A corporate successor to a claimant's former parent company is liable under a veil-piercing theory for a portion of costs incurred in cleaning up coal tar contamination at manufactured gas plant sites in upstate New York, and the claimant's recovery should be reduced to account for payments made on its behalf by its insurers, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 11 (New York State Electric and Gas Corp. v. FirstEnergy Corp., Nos. 11-4143, 11-4146, 11-4149, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17579).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A company that purchases royalties and mineral rights for oil and gas exploration through hydraulic fracturing on Sept. 12 filed an amended class action complaint against a group of energy companies for allegedly underpaying royalties to the owners of mineral rights who leased property to be used for oil and gas production (Chieftain Royalty Company v. SM Energy Company, et al., No. 11-177, W.D. Okla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Consumers adequately plead class action claims that a solar energy company violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling defective solar panels because the consumers properly allege that the company made false representations and warranties about the solar panels and failed to disclose the defect and that the consumers were harmed by the company's actions, a federal judge held Sept. 8 in denying the company's bid to dismiss the claims (Michael Allagas, et al. v. BP Solar International Inc., et al., No. 14-00560, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126314).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 imposed sanctions against Halliburton Energy Services Inc. on Sept. 4 after finding that its destruction of 3D computer simulations of how cement channeling could be used to stop oil from flowing out of the Macondo well was intentional and done in bad faith (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.).
DEVENS, Mass. - A global solutions provider for the wind and power industry on Sept. 4 announced that an international arbitration tribunal has issued an award in a dispute between its subsidiary and an energy firm, ordering the subsidiary to pay $11 million in damages.
WHEELING, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 4 ruled that a hydraulic fracturing company could file under seal a map showing the locations of gas storage fields that are the subject of a lease dispute because the map constitutes "critical energy infrastructure information" (K&D Holdings LLC v. EQT Corp., No. 13-00152, N.D. W.Va.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 3 overturned a federal judge in Alaska's summary judgment award to the owner and operator of a coal loading facility after finding that the defendants' general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit does not shield it from liability over discharges of coal into Resurrection Bay (Alaska Community Action on Toxics, et al. v. Aurora Energy Services LLC, et al., No. 13-35709, 9th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI), the company that was responsible for cement work for the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, on Sept. 2 filed an agreement in Louisiana federal court under which it will pay approximately $1.1 billion to resolve claims for individuals who are part of a business and economic loss (BEL) class that suffered damages as a result of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 2 dismissed a couple's lawsuit against energy companies they had contended contaminated their drinking well as a result of hydraulic fracturing operations, concluding that the couple did not meet their burden of proof of showing that there were material issues in dispute (Jeremiah N. Magers, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al., No. 12-49, N.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121838).
WACO, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 29 ordered Sierra Club to pay $6.4 million in attorney fees and expert costs to two companies it accused of violating the Clean Air Act (CAA), ruling that the group's suit was frivolous (Sierra Club v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 12-cv-00108, W.D. Texas).