The Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals has upheld a win secured by Susman Godfrey LLP on behalf of client Westlake Chemical Corporation. The original 2017 verdict for Westlake in its lawsuit against James Construction Group awarded approximately $4.1 million to Westlake. In addition to affirming the judgment, the appellate court also vacated a $1.2 million award to James Construction on a counterclaim. See the majority opinion here.
“We are pleased the court has upheld Westlake’s victory at trial while also negating the award for the defendants,” said William R. H. Merrill, who was Westlake’s lead counsel at trial and was co-counsel on the appeal. “We won the case despite repeated attempts by the defendants to knock us off course with last-minute procedural changes. We are happy the appeals court affirmed the verdict for Westlake.”
Westlake brought its case after a series of safety issues led the chemical company to remove James Construction’s mechanical group from a $500-million-plus construction project, resulting in delays and other costs. Merrill and his Susman Godfrey team defeated two mandamus petitions and at least eight requests for summary judgment in the early stages of the case.
“I was very proud of our team’s performance in this case and how we handled curveballs from opposing counsel,” said Merrill. “We adapted quickly, dividing and conquering, with everyone working through the night to make it happen for our client.”
In addition to Merrill, the Susman Godfrey trial team included Shawn Blackburn, Ryan Caughey and Mark Hatch-Miller. Susman Godfrey worked with Warren Harris, a partner with Bracewell LLP, on the appeal. Harris successfully argued the case before the Fourteenth Court of Appeals.