Our lawyers are knowledgeable leaders in their fields with proven track records of providing clients with excellent service. See below for some of our recent experience.
Obtained summary judgment by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi for CenterPoint Energy.
On September 4, 2013, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi granted summary judgment to CenterPoint Energy. The order dismissed the Plaintiff’s wrongful death action which sought damages for the death of his father allegedly caused by a residential natural gas explosion. Plaintiff alleged CenterPoint was negligent in supplying gas and maintaining the gas lines around his father’s home, which resulted in the alleged gas leak and explosion. Plaintiff further alleged his father called CenterPoint on at least two occasions in the months before the explosion to report the smell of gas and that CenterPoint failed to repair the leak. The Court found no evidence was presented of a gas leak on CenterPoint’s side of the meter, and even assuming a leak existed on the customer’s side of the meter, Plaintiff submitted no evidence that CenterPoint was ever placed on notice of a gas leak. Accordingly, the Court held CenterPoint could not be held liable under Mississippi law.
Represented Lamar County, Mississippi, in a lawsuit filed by the Pat Harrison Waterway District arising from the County’s decision to withdraw from the District pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 51-15-118.
David Kaufman and Richard Cirilli represented Lamar County, Mississippi, in a lawsuit filed by the Pat Harrison Waterway District arising from the County’s decision to withdraw from the District pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. § 51-15-118. The issue was the amount the County owed the District as of September 6, 2011, the date of withdrawal. An independent auditor determined, pursuant to the withdrawal statute, the County owed $337,088. The District objected to the independent auditor’s report, claiming the County also owed its share of the District’s perpetual operating costs; and, therefore, the actual amount owed should be $18,985,536. On August 19-20, 2013, Special Judge Hollis McGehee conducted a hearing on the District’s objections and agreed with the independent auditor and Lamar County that the County did not owe any perpetual operating costs because such costs were not “contractual obligations” under the withdrawal statute.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Tronox, in an action brought by a current employee for employment discrimination and purported on-the-job harassment.
Chris Fontan and Scott Singley obtained summary judgment on behalf of Tronox, in an action brought by a current employee for employment discrimination and purported on-the-job harassment. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Aycock ruled the Plaintiff failed to meet his burden in proving his claim of racially-based disparate treatment connected to his demotion from a highly sensitive operator position. Moreover, the Court ruled the Plaintiff failed to establish an actionable claim of racially-based harassment by his employer.
Obtained a $2,789,775 judgment for Gulf Coast Bank & Trust against a petroleum company in fraud action.
James McCullough, Taylor McNeel, and William Drinkwater recently obtained a $2,789,775 judgment for Gulf Coast Bank & Trust. The bank asserted the vice president of a petroleum company defrauded the bank by intentionally inflating the petroleum company’s accounts receivables, thus allowing the petroleum company to obtain fraudulently millions of dollars in advances from the bank pursuant to the parties’ receivables purchase agreement. The United States District Court in Hattiesburg granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment and determined fraud was proven by clear and convincing evidence. Opinion. This is the fourth judgment obtained for the bank since the fraud was uncovered at the petroleum company. The judgments total $6,889,775.
Obtained a significant decision on behalf of Texas Gas Transmission, LLC from a federal court in a natural gas pipeline condemnation case.
Texas Gas Transmission, LLC (“Texas Gas”), represented by Jim Halford and James McCullough, obtained a significant decision on December 6, 2012 from a federal court in a natural gas pipeline condemnation case. Texas Gas filed to condemn a permanent right of way and temporary workspace for the construction of its 36” in diameter pipeline to cross over the mainline of the Mississippi River levee in northwest Mississippi owned by the Board of Levee Commissioners for the Yazoo-Mississippi River Delta (“Board”). The Board sought over $3.3 million for the crossing, claiming Texas Gas’ line caused incurable functional obsolescence resulting in a diminished desirability of the property under the cost approach to valuation. Texas Gas contended, inter alia, that the levee was unaffected by the taking, and that just compensation was $12,000 based on the direct sales comparison approach. The court, agreeing with Texas Gas that the permanent right of way, temporary workspace, and construction of the pipeline did not adversely affect the use of the property for its highest and best uses—agricultural and levee purposes, awarded the Board $12,000 for the taking.Opinion and Final Judgment
Obtained a sizeable arbitration award on behalf of a national pharmacy client in a dispute with its landlord regarding the allocation of the proceeds from a sale in lieu of condemnation.
Jim Halford and William Drinkwater obtained a sizeable arbitration award on behalf of a national pharmacy client in a dispute with its landlord regarding the allocation of the proceeds from a sale in lieu of condemnation. On behalf of our client, we maintained that as the long-term tenant it was entitled to the majority of the sale proceeds. The landlord argued the tenant did not effectively reserve its rights to the sale proceeds, and even if it had, it was not entitled to any of the award because it was not a landowner. The Arbitrator held in favor of our client, finding it had reserved its rights to the sale proceeds and as a long-term tenant it was entitled to most of the award.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Southern Hens, in an action brought by a former employee for alleged employment discrimination and wrongful termination.
Chris Fontan and Steve Carmody obtained summary judgment on behalf of Southern Hens, in an action brought by a former employee for alleged employment discrimination and wrongful termination. U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett held the Plaintiff failed to meet his burden for proving a claim of racially-based disparate treatment connected to his termination. Moreover, the Court ruled the Plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact related to unstated employment policies of Southern Hens.