Apache Corporation v. W&T Offshore, Inc., No. 15-cv-00063 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division
- With Geoffrey Harrison, Bill Merrill, and Ashley McMillian, Abby represents operator Apache Corporation against non-operator W&T Offshore in a breach-of-contract suit to recover W&T’s 49% share of the governmentally-required costs to plug and abandon three jointly-owned wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Abby cross-examined W&T’s damages expert at trial. In October 2016 after a two-week trial, the jury returned an approximately $43.2 million damages award for Apache, which the National Law Journal listed as one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2016. The court granted Apache final judgment in mid-2017 based on the jury’s $43.2 million verdict, plus $2.5 million in attorney’s fees and expenses, and $2.8 million in pre-judgment interest. In 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment, 930 F.3d 647, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied W&T’s petition for a writ of certiorari.
City of Houston v. Towers Watson, No. 14-cv-2213 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division
- With Jim Southwick, Geoffrey Harrison, Alex Kaplan, and Ryan Caughey, Abby represented the City of Houston in a professional malpractice and negligence suit against global actuarial consulting firm Towers Watson. In 2018, Susman Godfrey secured a $40 million settlement for the City concerning Towers Watson’s actuarial work on pension benefits for the City’s firefighters.
Spring Creek Exploration & Production Company, LLC v. Hess Bakken Investment II, LLC, No. 14-cv-00134-PAB-KMT in the U.S. District Court of Colorado
- With Rob Safi and Ashley McMillian, Abby represented Hess Bakken against claims for an alleged breach of an area of mutual interest agreement in the Bakken shale play in North Dakota. Susman Godfrey obtained complete summary judgment against Plaintiffs’ liability and damages claim, and then successfully defended the result in the Tenth Circuit.
W&T Offshore, Inc. v. Apache Corporation, No. 11-cv-2931 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division
- With Geoffrey Harrison and Bill Merrill, Abby won a two week federal court jury trial defending Apache Corporation against W&T Offshore’s oil and gas misallocation claims arising from an offshore production handling agreement. It took the jury less than 45 minutes to return its “no-breach” verdict in favor of Apache. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed (3-0) the district court’s judgment in favor of Apache. 644 F. App’x 349 (5th Cir. 2016).
Kelich v. Hess Corp. and Griffith v. Hess Corp., Nos. 13-cv-140 and 14-cv-337, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- With Thomas Paterson and Weston O’Black, Abby defended Hess Ohio Resources in two suits brought by Ohio oil and gas lessors in a lease termination dispute. The lessors claimed that their oil and gas leases had terminated after a five-year primary term, despite language providing for an extension of the primary term. Susman Godfrey was retained in late 2013 to persuade the two federal district courts in Ohio to reconsider their rulings that the leases had terminated. The team consolidated both cases for appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit reversed and remanded, agreeing with Susman Godfrey’s position that (1) the leases had two consecutive five-year primary terms and (2) the leases had not terminated at the end of the first five-year term. 2014 WL 7331014 (6th Cir. Dec. 23, 2014)
Confidential Pipeline Sale Arbitration
- Abby was part of a trial team defending a large oil and gas company against fraud, breach of contract, and breach of warranty claims relating to the sale of a natural gas pipeline with alleged defects. The matter settled favorably before the final hearing.