Firm clients win $25 million settlement with Kinder Morgan plus additional confidential settlement in energy sector partnership agreement breach.
The $25 million settlement stemmed from a $44 million jury verdict in DeWitt County, Texas, that was won by firm lawyers Eileen O’Neill and Paul Smith for clients Mel R. Sweatman and Paz Gas Corp. The lawsuit charged that Kinder Morgan and other defendants breached a partnership agreement to share natural gas contract profits, and included allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, tortious interference, and conversion. In reaching their verdict, jurors found that the defendants wrongfully caused gas volumes to be shipped on a pipeline outside of the partnership.
The post-trial settlement included Kinder Morgan’s $25 million payment and additional confidential settlements. Of the public $25 million portion, the client received $17,341,209 after deduction of $7,658,791 for fees and expenses.