In the News
Exxon Valdez v. Lloyd's of London, et al.
Seven years after the Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground off Alaska, spilling oil in one of the worst environmental disasters ever, the Exxon Corporation said yesterday that it was closing the books on attempts to recover its costs from scores of insurance companies, with a final settlement installment of $480 million.
The agreement, reached yesterday in discussions in the United States and Britain, brought Exxon's total recovery to $780 million. Company officials said the disaster had cost Exxon $2.5 billion before the insurance recovery.
Lee R. Raymond, the company's chairman, said it was "pleased that these claims have been resolved."
BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) – Canadian oil and gas producer Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) has settled a legal dispute with CNOOC Ltd over Indonesia's Tangguh liquefied natural gas project, China Business News reported, citing a source. The source said Talisman will pay about 40 mln usd to CNOOC for a stake of around 2 pct in the BP plc-led Tangguh project, which will supply CNOOC's Fujian LNG terminal. According to earlier media reports Talisman, through its Fortuna Resources unit, had claimed the right to 44 pct of CNOOC's 17 pct interest in Tangguh. Lawrence Bernstein, senior manager for exploration at Talisman's Malaysian unit, told China Business News he believed the dispute had been settled although he had yet to be officially notified. Bernstein said Talisman is evaluating opportunities to enter China's offshore oil and natural gas sector.
(c) 2008 Xinhua Financial Network, Ltd. All rights reserved
Robert Courtney, Eli Lilly and Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Texas Lawyer Will Mediate Suits Against Drug Makers A Texas lawyer experienced in high-profile cases will mediate between two drug makers and cancer patients suing them over pharmacist Robert Courtney's drug dilution scheme. Susan S. Soussan has mediated thousands of lawsuits in the past two decades, including a $480 million settlement from Exxon Corp.'s insurers, led by Lloyd's of London, to pay for the cleanup of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
With interest added, Houston trial lawyer John O'Quinn must pay $41.4 million because he improperly charged expenses to his former breast implant litigation clients, an arbitration panel ruled Tuesday.
In July, the panel found that O'Quinn was to pay at least $35.7 million to the more than 3,000 women who were improperly charged an extra 1.5 percent for general expenses. On Tuesday the panel added more than $5 million in interest and some specific attorneys fees.
The arbitrators are David Beck, Kenneth Tekell Sr. and Susan Soussan. They previously wrote that although O'Quinn did an exceptional job and many lawyers have trouble charging shared expenses, the O'Quinn contracts nevertheless did not allow for the deductions O'Quinn charged.
According to Kevin M. Curley, the plaintiff and former president of Texans Insurance Group who was terminated in April 2007, an arbitrator has decided on a $6.3 million judgment from the CUSO and Texans Credit Union stemming from a July 2008 arbitration hearing that ruled in his favor.
Curley told Credit Union Times that the judgment came through during the last week of June. A spokesman for Bill Brewer, Curley's attorney, could not confirm any details of the judgment. A search of civil cases with the 192nd Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas did not turn up the case involving the $6.3 million judgment.
In October 2008, Curley's attorneys filed an action in the same district court against Texans Insurance Group for failing to honor a July 2008 arbitration ruling. Arbitrator Susan Soussan ruled that Curley was fired without reasonable or justifiable cause and ordered Texans Insurance to pay him $350,000 in back pay, benefits and pre- and post-judgment interest. Curley was also supposed to be reinstated but never resumed his post at the insurance CUSO.
The Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council reached an agreement this week that will allow the organization to purchase the AAA Texas building at 3000 Southwest Freeway.
The purchase price of the two-story, 28,000-square-foot building was not disclosed.
The Upper Kirby Management District, which also wanted to buy the property, will have certain rights regarding leasing and future purchase of the property from the Girl Scouts.
The parties reached the agreement through mediation with Judge Susan Soussan. The Girl Scouts and the management district also agreed to end a lawsuit concerning the matter.
Legal action was pending between the groups after contract negotiations halted due to possible condemnation proceedings by the district.
The Texas Attorney General has yet to rule on whether management districts, such as the Upper Kirby Management District, have the power of eminent domain.
The district wanted the property for a community center to adjoin Levy Park, which is being renovated.
The Girl Scouts wanted the building, which is located next to the organization's offices, to expand its programs.
Arbitration: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know , Texas Lawyer , Vol. 24, No. 37, p. 7, December 2008
Mediation: Working It All Out , Texas Lawyer , Vol. 24, No. 36, p. 6, December 2008
A Profile in Professionalism , The Houston Lawyer , p.50, July/August 2005