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AZA Lawyers Successfully Defeat Opposing Party’s Motion for Summary Judgment in $150 Million Commercial Case
May 21, 2007
AZA lawyers John Zavitsanos, Todd Mensing, Karen Brisch, Joe Sibley, and Scott Upchurch defeated a motion for summary judgment in a substantial breach of contract case brought by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company against AZA’s client, a publicly traded energy company. Tennessee and AZA’s client are co-owners of an extensive gas offshore pipeline known as the Blue Water System. The ownership of that system is governed by a pipeline operating agreement executed in 1973. Tennessee requested permission from AZA’s client to construct an interconnect on a part of the system controlled by AZA’s client. When AZA’s client refused, Tennessee filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. for an order directing AZA’s client to allow the construction of such an interconnect under the FERC’s interconnect policies. After the FERC granted Tennessee’s request, Tennessee filed a breach of contract action in Texas state court against AZA’s client for $150 million. Within a few months of filing suit, Tennessee filed a motion for summary judgment asking the Houston trial court to find breach of the agreement as a matter of law based on res judicata and the FERC’s order directing AZA’s client to allow such an interconnect. After an extensive oral presentation and a substantial amount of briefing by AZA lawyers, the court denied Tennessee’s motion for summary judgment.