Claims dismissed, client awarded attorneys’ fees in blowout case
Ware Jackson attorneys successfully represented the primary defendant in a federal lawsuit stemming from a well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. The plaintiffs alleged that Ware Jackson’s client, Axon, manufactured a defective blowout preventer. The plaintiffs claimed the BOP was defective and failed to contain the blowout and sought over $70 million in damages. Ware Jackson partners Dennis Barrow, Tyler Henkel, and Margaret Bryant, as well as associate Avery Sheppard, defended Axon from a potential catastrophic judgment.
Defending the case required an in-depth understanding of offshore oil and gas operations, including well control procedures and the mechanics of blowout preventers. The litigation involved extensive briefing, review of thousands of documents, dozens of depositions, and appearances in courts in Houston, Louisiana, and Delaware. Ware Jackson’s attorneys developed evidence demonstrating that Axon’s blowout preventer was not defective.
Ware Jackson’s work paid off when Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt granted Axon’s motions for summary judgment and dismissed all the plaintiffs’ claims. Judge Hoyt also agreed with Ware Jackson that both the owner and the driller of the well had to indemnify Axon for its attorneys’ fees and expenses. Axon received an award of $5,494,132.67 in fees and expenses.
This is not the first successful result Ware Jackson has secured for a defendant in a blowout case. During the civil litigation surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, Ware Jackson partners Dennis Barrow and Don Jackson obtained a summary judgment ruling that their client was not at fault for the blowout. Our client was the only defendant to pay nothing in the massive multidistrict litigation.