HOUSTON – An appellate court reversed a ruling regarding attorney's fees in a breach of contract case between a shipper on a pipeline and a pipeline operator.
Justice Kem Thompson Frost, on the bench of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals, issued a 20-page ruling on Oct. 30 affirming in part and reversing in part the Harris County 151st District Court decision in the lawsuit filed by Occidental Energy Marketing Inc. against West Texas LPG Pipeline LP.
"We affirm the trial court’s judgment as to Occidental’s tort claims and as to the first and third declarations. We reverse the trial court’s judgment as to the remainder of Occidental’s and West Texas’s declaratory-judgment claims and as to Occidental’s breach-of-contract claim, and remand these claims for further proceedings," Thompson Frost wrote. "In light of our appellate judgment, we reverse the trial court’s judgment as to all attorney’s-fees awards and requests, and remand so that the trial court can address each party’s request for attorney’s fees in light of the relief granted in the trial court’s final judgment on remand."
Occidental sued West Texas LPG in December 2014 on claims of breach of contract and various tort claims.
"Occidental alleges that since October 2010, West Texas consistently has failed to deliver to Lone Star Pipeline, net any adjustments provided for in the Tariff, the total gallon volume of NGL Mix that West Texas received for Occidental’s account at the Salk Creek Plant," the ruling states.
Occidental alleged, per the ruling, that West Texas LPG "has breached various provisions of the tariff," as well as "damage claims for breach of a common carrier’s duty of care, negligence, and conversion, as well as a claim seeking declaratory relief."
West Texas moved for partial summary judgment, seeking dismissal of the breach of contract allegations.
14th Court of Appeals case number 14-17-00067-CV