US Appeals Court Upholds Verdict for National Oilwell Varco in $120 Million Suit
April 20, 2017

HOUSTON – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has upheld a Houston federal jury verdict that found National Oilwell Varco LP (NOV) did not racially discriminate against African-American workers, who had sought $120 million in damages.

A three-judge panel unanimously rejected the appeal filed on behalf of eight minority employees of the oilfield equipment supplier. The workers had claimed they were subjected to racial discrimination, a hostile workplace and retaliation during the course of their employment.

In 2015, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas determined after 12 days of testimony that NOV had not violated the rights of the workers. The plaintiffs were represented by high-profile civil rights lawyer Angela M. Alioto of the San Francisco-based Law Offices of Mayor Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto.

“It isn’t surprising this verdict was upheld. The court reaffirmed just how misguided plaintiffs’ counsel was in making explosive accusations, hoping to cash in,” said NOV counsel John Zavitsanos of Ahmad Zavitsanos Anaipakos Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA.

AZA lawyer Nathan Campbell also represents NOV in addition to New Orleans attorneys Monique Gougisha Doucette and Christopher E. Moore of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. The case is Junious Vital et al. v. National Oilwell Varco LP, No. 15-20758 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

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 in 2016; and Law360 as one of only 13 Texas Powerhouse law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000.


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