AZA Wins Three Trials in Just Two Weeks in May 
May 24, 2023

HOUSTON – In just two weeks in May, AZA lawyers won three trials. They won for a fuel company in a take-nothing judgment, the Port of Houston in an employment dispute and a medical group quelling a fraud claim.

These were the ninth, 10th and 11th cases AZA lawyers have already tried to verdict or decision in 2023. AZA will begin two more trials in the next two weeks. In 2022, AZA tried 14 cases to verdict or decision.

On May 8, AZA defeated a $5 million breach of contract claim for the Houston-based fuel company Texas Fueling Service Inc., that was sued by an international fuel trader. Harris County District Judge Kyle Carter ruled for AZA’s client following a one-week bench trial in April. The plaintiff sued AZA’s client for damages for allegedly breaching supply agreements. The trial was the culmination of three years of litigation. Adding interest and legal fees, the judgment likely would have exceeded $5 million. AZA lawyers Todd Mensing, Kyle Poelker and Harrison Scheer tried the case.

The Harris County case is 2019-70683, titled Trafigura Trading LLC and TCPU Inc. v. Texas Fueling Service, Inc.

On May 17, AZA defeated a novel wrongful termination suit for the Port of Houston. In a case involving issues of first impression, four firefighters alleged that Port of Houston officials did not follow a statutory protocol in terminating them for hazing and harassment misconduct, and that as a result, the firefighters could not be fired in the future for their misconduct. Following a bench trial, Judge Lauren Reeder ruled for AZA’s client and found that the officials had fully followed the statutory protocol. The court agreed with AZA’s statutory interpretation arguments on these novel issues and further held that, though the firefighters had been reinstated pending trial, the Port of Houston could permanently terminate them because it had complied with the law. AZA lawyers Kelsi White and Michael Killingsworth tried the case.

The Harris County case is 2021-13211, titled Stan Kozlowski et al. v. William Buck, in his official capacity as Fire Chief for the Port of Houston Authority, et al.

On May 19, a Harris County jury found in favor of AZA’s client Houston Radiology Associated (HRA), the group that provides imaging for Methodist Hospitals. Plaintiff Dr. Amitabha Banerjee, one of HRA’s former doctors, sued AZA’s client, claiming that he had been guaranteed a speedy partnership within two years when he and his partners joined the group. He claimed HRA had defrauded him through false promises regarding his HRA partnership opportunities and sought more than a million dollars in actual damages, with additional punitive damages. The jury voted 11 to 1 for AZA’s client after hearing four days of testimony and deliberating for less than an hour. AZA lawyers Weining Bai and Michael Killingsworth tried the case before Judge Michael Gomez.

The Harris County case is 2020-13621, titled Amitabha Banerjee, M.D. v. Houston Radiology Associated, and Radiology Partners Management Group LLC.

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, healthcare, intellectual property and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by Chambers USA 2022 as among the best in Texas in commercial law and intellectual property; has been listed by U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ Best Law Firms as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms for 11 years running; has been named Litigation Department of the Year by Texas Lawyer three times, including for 2021; and was previously dubbed a Texas Powerhouse law firm by Law360.


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Houston, TX 77010
(713) 655-1101

© 2024 All rights reserved.


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