AZA Secures Another Multimillion-Dollar Victory for National Oilwell Varco
February 12, 2016

HOUSTON – A Houston state court jury this week returned a take-nothing verdict in favor of National Oilwell Varco, L.P., (NYSE: NOV), after finding that a former employee who sought more than $20 million in damages was rightfully fired for a safety violation and not the victim of race discrimination.

The jury in Harris County District Judge Robert Schaffer’s court heard six days of testimony, including the suing former employee Dale L. Johnson’s admission that even he didn’t think he’d suffered discrimination until his lawyer, Victoria Plante-Northington, convinced him he had. It took the jury only two hours to reach a verdict.

NOV’s trial team was led by Mark Holden along with John Zavitsanos of Houston’s Ahmad Zavitsanos, Anaipakos Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA. Also representing NOV were attorneys Christopher E. Moore and Alison Lungstrum of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart in New Orleans.

Ms. Plante-Northington’s theory of liability in the case kept shifting, even during trial. She also called another of her clients as a witness to bolster Mr. Johnson’s claims without explaining who the witness was.

The lawsuit in the 152nd Harris County State District Court is Dale L. Johnson v. National Oilwell Varco, No. 2013-62983.

AZA, or Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Mensing, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2016 among the best in Texas commercial law; U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms; Texas Lawyer as a Litigation Department of the Year 2015 and Law360 as a Texas Powerhouse law firm. National corporate counsel named AZA both one of the country’s best in client service and one of the most feared. Read more at


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