LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Investors State No Actionable Misrepresentations In Securities Class Action

HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Investors State No Actionable Misrepresentations In Securities Class Action

HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Fracking Company: Royalty Owner Seeks 'Two Bites At The Apple' In Payment Dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY - A hydraulic fracturing company filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court on Jan. 25, arguing that a company that purchases royalties and mineral rights is attempting to get "two bites at the apple" on its claim that the fracking company has underpaid royalties to a group of mineral rights owners (Chieftain Royalty Company v. SM Energy Company, et al., No. 11-177, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Compels Arbitration Of Insurers' Contract-Related Claims In Germany

MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 3 granted a French energy company's motion to compel arbitration in Germany of claims asserted by numerous insurers in relation to a failed engine (Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, et al. v. Converteam SAS, a foreign corporation now known as GE Energy Conversion France SAS, Corp., No. 16-00378, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15331).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Compels Arbitration Of Insurers' Contract-Related Claims In Germany

MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Feb. 3 granted a French energy company's motion to compel arbitration in Germany of claims asserted by numerous insurers in relation to a failed engine (Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, et al. v. Converteam SAS, a foreign corporation now known as GE Energy Conversion France SAS, Corp., No. 16-00378, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15331).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Energy Firm Says PCA Will Hear UNICTRAL Case Against Kyrgyz

TORONTO, Ontario - Stans Energy Corp. on Jan. 26 said the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has issued an award in an arbitration commenced against the Kyrgyz Republic, finding that it has jurisdiction over the case (Stans Energy Corp. and Kutisay Mining LLC v. The Kyrgyz Republic, No. 2015-32, PCA).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Daily Newsletter Dispute

HOUSTON - Each issue of a daily newsletter constitutes a single work, and an annual subscription does not constitute a compilation under the Copyright Act, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 24 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP and KA Fund Advisors LP, No. 14-1903, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9426).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Claimants Appeal Rejection Of Bid To Dismiss Cases Of 4 Energy Future Affiliates

WILMINGTON, Del. - Four asbestos personal injury claimants on Jan. 18 asked a Delaware federal judge to decide whether several affiliates of debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) had a valid bankruptcy purpose when filing their Chapter 11 petitions or whether they 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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court Affirms Company's Liability For Home-Heating-Oil Spill

NEW YORK - A New York justice did not err when denying a home-heating-oil company's motion for summary judgment on liability because the company was required to demonstrate that a spill that occurred after an employee overfilled a woman's in-home, above-ground tanks did not actually reach the surface or groundwater, a state appellate panel ruled Jan. 18. (Mary Ellen Zincke v. Pacific Energy Corp., No. 2015-00108, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 338).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided 6th Circuit Panel Reinstates Government's Suit Over Boiler Construction

DETROIT - A 2-1 panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 reinstated an enforcement action brought by the federal government against DTE Energy Co., finding that a federal judge in Michigan erred by failing to consider the panel's earlier ruling instructing it to consider whether the company submitted sufficient information to the agency before modifying a unit at its coal-fired power plant in Monroe, Mich. (United States of America v. DTE Energy Company, et al., Nos. 14-2274, 14-2275, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 416).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Testimony In Breach Of Contract Suit Over Supply Of Crude Oil

HOUSTON - In a breach of contract lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Dec. 20 excluded in part testimony from both parties involved in a dispute over an agreement for the supply of crude oil (Musket Corp. v. Suncor Energy [U.S.A.] Marketing Inc., No. 15-100, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175601).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Energy Future Judge Nixes Asbestos Claimants' Bid To Dismiss Affiliates' Cases

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 19 rejected a request by four asbestos personal injury claimants to dismiss the Chapter 11 cases of several affiliates of debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) after finding that the cases were filed in good faith (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.; 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 4355).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge: Amending Copyright Complaint Would Be Futile

DALLAS - A request by a copyright infringement plaintiff for leave to amend its pleading to add an individual defendant's corporate identity was rejected Dec. 16 by a Texas federal judge, who deemed the proposed amendment futile pursuant to 17 U.S. Code Section 507(b) (RBH Energy LLC v. Stuart L. Brown, No. 16-830, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174072).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Tender Of Settlement In Securities Suit Does Not Moot Claims, Judge Rules

HOUSTON - A tender of settlement by underwriter defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company and others does not make the suit moot because the lead plaintiff in the action refused to accept it and because the amount did not take the shareholder's legal fees and expenses into consideration, a federal judge in Texas ruled Dec. 9 (Joseph Pankowski v. BlueNRGY Group Ltd., f/k/a CBD Energy Ltd., et al., No. 15-1668, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170495).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Residents Seek Damages For Fracking Earthquakes In Oklahoma

STILLWATER, Okla. - A group of Oklahoma residents on Dec. 5 filed a putative class action lawsuit in state court against five energy companies contending that by disposing of fracking wastewater into the ground, the companies introduced contaminants into the natural environment that caused an adverse change to it in the form of unnatural seismic activity (David and Myra Reid, et al. v. White Star Petroleum LLC, et al., No. CJ-2016-543, Okla. Dist., Payne Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Will Not Change Briefing Schedule In Halliburton Radioactive Materials Case

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Nov. 10 ruled that plaintiffs who sued Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) for injuries from radioactive waste contamination could not modify the scheduling order in the case because they had enough time to submit an expert report yet failed to do so (Amanda Alexander, et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-1343, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155978).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Extends Government Contractor Removal Statute To Asbestos Warning Cases

RICHMOND, Va. - The same logic underpinning other aspects of the government contractor removal statute apply to failure-to-warn cases, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 1 in reversing a "decades-old practice" in a lower court (Deborah H. Ripley, as administrator of the estate of Bernard W. Ripley v. Foster Wheeler LLC, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., and J Henry Holland Corp., et al., No 15-1918, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19631).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Extends Government Contractor Removal Statute To Asbestos Warning Cases

RICHMOND, Va. - The same logic underpinning other aspects of the government contractor removal statute apply to failure-to-warn cases, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 1 in reversing a "decades-old practice" in a lower court (Deborah H. Ripley, as administrator of the estate of Bernard W. Ripley v. Foster Wheeler LLC, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., and J Henry Holland Corp., et al., No 15-1918, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19631).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 3rd Circuit Finds No Error In Allowing Expert Testimony In Breach Of Agreement Suit

PHILADELPHIA - In a breach of a lease agreement lawsuit between a class of landowners and an exploration production company, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24 that a trial judge did not abuse his discretion in refusing to reconsider allowing an expert to testify that natural gas sold to third-party buyers was made before any interstate transportation (David F. Pollock, as executor of the estate of Margaret F. Pollock, et al. v. Energy Corporation of America, Nos. 15-2648 & 15-2649, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19167).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Alleged Misstatements Contained Required Cautionary Language, Judge Rules

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 21 ruled that dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against parties to a merger deal is proper because lead plaintiffs failed to show that alleged misrepresentations and omissions made by the parties regarding debt and future distributions issues were not publicly available and did not contain the required cautionary language (Irving Braun, et al. v. Eagle Rock Energy Partners, LP, et al., No. 15-1470, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146035).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Alleged Misstatements Contained Required Cautionary Language, Judge Rules

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 21 ruled that dismissal of an amended complaint in a securities class action lawsuit against parties to a merger deal is proper because lead plaintiffs failed to show that alleged misrepresentations and omissions made by the parties regarding debt and future distributions issues were not publicly available and did not contain the required cautionary language (Irving Braun, et al. v. Eagle Rock Energy Partners, LP, et al., No. 15-1470, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146035).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Testimony On Leasing Logistics Of Rail Cars In Breach Of Contract Suit

HOUSTON - In a breach of contract lawsuit, an employee of a supply, trading and logistics company may testify as to the company's efforts "to lease, mobilize and manage the logistics of providing rail cars to a terminal," a Texas federal judge ruled Oct. 18, finding that the employee's experience and education qualify him as an expert (Musket Corp. v. Suncor Energy [U.S.A.] Marketing Inc., No. 15-100, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143881).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Supplier Denies Liability For Injuries From Lithium Battery Explosion

OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the defendants being sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer and counterclaim in Oklahoma federal court on Oct. 14, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that it is entitled to immunity under the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act (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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Allows Asbestos Expert's Testimony; Evidence Need Not Be Perfect Fit

NEW ORLEANS - Studies conducted in a more confined environment than the workplace in question are admissible because such evidence need not fit the facts of the case precisely under Daubert, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 11 in largely declining to reject an asbestos expert's testimony (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Asbestos Expert's Testimony; Evidence Need Not Be Perfect Fit

NEW ORLEANS - Studies conducted in a more confined environment than the workplace in question are admissible because such evidence need not fit the facts of the case precisely under Daubert, a federal judge in Louisiana held Oct. 11 in largely declining to reject an asbestos expert's testimony (William C. Bell, et al. v. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., et al., No. 15-6394, E.D. La.).