Manta Ray Prevails in Multimillion-Dollar Dispute with Transco
(Houston, Texas) - After a three-and-a-half-week trial, a Harris County jury rejected plaintiff Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s $15.5 million breach of contract allegations against defendant Manta Ray Gathering Co. and made a finding of $1.1 million in attorney’s fees for the defendants. This jury verdict ended a long-standing dispute between Transco and Manta Ray concerning Transco’s planned use of offshore platform space that it leased on one of Manta Ray’s deepwater junction platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Transco contended that Manta Ray breached the Platform Lease Agreement by denying its request to approve drawings for the installation of a new pipeline riser and other facilities on Manta Ray’s offshore platform. Transco brought a breach of contract claim seeking $15.5 million in damages and $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and sought a declaration that it had the right to make future installations of this same equipment on Manta Ray’s offshore platform. Transco also sought to hold Manta Ray’s affiliated companies, Leviathan Gas Pipeline Partners L.L.P., Leviathan Gas Pipeline Company and DeepTech International, Inc., liable for Manta Ray’s alleged breach of contract.
The 12-member jury panel found against Transco on both its breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims, and found $1.1 million in attorney’s fees for the defendants. The case was tried before Judge David Medina of the 157th Harris County State Court. Final judgment has not yet been entered. Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. represented Manta Ray and all other defendants. Attorneys for the plaintiff were Jack O’Neill and Mark White of Clements, O’Neill, Pierce, Nickens & Wilson, L.L.P. and Patricia Morrisson of the Williams Companies.
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