Texas pipeline company wins $319M in legal dispute

By The Texas Lawbook

DALLAS — After a day and a half of deliberation, a 12-person jury has found that Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners were in a partnership in 2011 during their proposed joint venture to construct a crude oil pipeline from Cushing, Okla. to the Gulf Coast.

However, it did not find that Enterprise and Enbridge conspired for Enterprise to breach its duty to ETP for their partnership.

Jurors awarded ETP $319 million in actual damages to ETP, but an additional amount for restitution could be added.

The jury’s conclusion is a landmark decision for Texas business lawyers and their corporate clients for what under State law constitutes a business partnership.

The decision follows four full weeks of intensive testimony from the three oil and gas giants. ETP claimed that Enterprise violated their “Double E” partnership agreement by cutting ties with ETP to pursue a more financially viable pipeline project with Enbridge and that the two conspired to cut ETP out of their new deal.