Appeals court won’t rehear ruling to wipe jury’s $190M reduction of Valero refinery

By David Yates | May 25, 2015

In March, the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals wiped a jury’s decision to shave $190 million off the appraised value of a Valero refinery.

On May 7 Valero filed a motion for rehearing, which was denied by the appellate court exactly two weeks later, court records show.

In 2011, the Galveston Central Appraisal District valued Valero’s Texas City refinery at $1,046,406,150, court records show.

Valero Refining-Texas then filed a petition for review in Galveston County District Court, arguing the appraisal district appraised the refinery unequally and the value should be reduced.

A jury found that portions of the refinery GCAD had appraised at approximately $527 million were unequally appraised, and that the “equal and uniform value” of those portions was approximately $337 million. The trial court rendered judgment on the verdict, prompting GCAD to appeal, court records show.

On appeal, GCAD argued the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the matter and that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the jury’s findings.

“Although we conclude the trial court had jurisdiction over Valero’s petition, we agree with GCAD that the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury’s equal and uniform valuation of Valero’s refinery,” states the Fourteenth Court’s March 31 opinion. “Because there is some evidence of unequal appraisal, we reverse the judgment and remand for a new trial.”

Valero is represented in part by Reagan Simpson and April Farris, attorneys for the Houston law firm Yetter Coleman.

The case was tried in the 56th District Court.

Trial case No. 11-CV-1142

Appeals case No. 14-13-00434-CV

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