Lawsuit blames rupture at $2.5B German gas cavern on Baker Hughes

By John Suayan | Sep 28, 2015

A federal lawsuit accuses Baker Hughes, Inc. and Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, Inc., doing business as a Baker Oil Tools, Inc., of property damage caused by defective sub-surface gas and oil storage equipment.

In the suit filed Sept. 21 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH alleges Baker Hughes poorly designed and manufactured the equipment in question. Said equipment is used in 28 gas storage caverns in Etzel, Germany owned by the plaintiff, as well as numerous other similar storage caverns throughout the world, the suit says.

Triuva, which reportedly invested $2.5 billion in the German caverns, asserts that the equipment caused cavern gas-line ruptures that caused extensive damage to its property, stating the defendants failed to warn about the risks attributed to the aforementioned equipment.

“The same defects that have thus far led to ruptures in two of the Etzel caverns are present in the defendants’ equipment used in a total of 30 caverns owned by the plaintiff and IVG Caverns GmbH (Caverns K334 and K309), representing a grave risk of harm with potentially catastrophic consequences,” the original petition says. “IVG Caverns GmbH develops and operates caverns at the Etzel site.”

Baker Hughes purportedly disclosed that it was investigating “possible equipment failure” in Plaintiff’s caverns “which includes certain of our products,” and that it was “investigating the cause of the possible failure and, if necessary, possible repair and replacement options for [its] products,” however, Triuva counters the respondent “refused to repair, replace, or remediate the defective products or assume any responsibility for their failure.”

Consequently, the complainant seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Mark C. Holscher of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Los Angeles is representing Triuva.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:15-cv-02744

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