Levinger PC Works With Sullivan & Cromwell Team to Defeat Conspiracy Claims After Five-Week Jury Trial
March 4, 2014 in News
Working closely with Sullivan & Cromwell partners Michael Steinberg, Robert Giuffra, and Laura Oswell, Jeff Levinger successfully defended Enbridge U.S. in a closely-watched Dallas County jury trial involving three of the world’s largest pipeline companies and claims for damages in excess of one billion dollars. In September 2011, Energy Transfer Partners sued Enterprise Products for breach of an alleged partnership to build a crude oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. ETP also sued Enbridge, claiming that it had conspired with Enterprise to form a new pipeline venture that did not include ETP. After a five-week trial beginning on January 27, 2014, the jury unanimously found that Enbridge did not conspire with Enterprise and did not act with malice toward ETP. As to Enterprise, however, the jury found that it had created a partnership with ETP, had failed to comply with its duty of loyalty, and had caused damages to ETP of $319,375,000. The case has attracted the close attention of energy industry experts and legal commentators over the extent to which Texas law recognizes “partnerships by conduct,” notwithstanding preliminary written agreements that disclaim partnerships and the existence of binding obligations.
Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Oil and Gas/Real Estate