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Bracewell Wins Complete Dismissal of Multi-Million Dollar Suit on Eve of Trial

September 28, 2015

HOUSTON – On the eve of trial, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP scored a tremendous defense victory for its long-standing client, Vopak Terminal Deer Park Inc., in a major commercial dispute with a global ethanol trading company. This complete victory follows Bracewell’s resolution in 2013 of a related dispute over rail use with Vopak’s neighbor and competitor, Intercontinental Terminals Company. 

Vertical North America sued Vopak for more than $30 million in actual damages, in addition to punitive damages, alleging that Vopak both fraudulently induced it into entering into an agreement to store ethanol at Vopak’s Deer Park, Texas terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, and that Vopak breached that agreement. During extensive and hard-fought discovery, Bracewell lawyers uncovered critical evidence that established Vertical in fact had no claim to assert. The Court agreed, and on September 23, 2015, Judge Erin Lunceford of the 61st District Court of Harris County, Texas entered a final judgment dismissing in full Vertical’s claims against Vopak. 

“Vopak, with terminal facilities around the world, is a tremendous company with an impeccable reputation,” said Bracewell Partner Phillip L. Sampson, Jr.  He added, “The allegation that Vopak did anything wrong was completely without merit."  Bracewell Partner Christopher L. Dodson remarked, “False allegations deserve aggressive response, and we are proud that we were able to obtain evidence from Vertical’s own witnesses and documents that lead to the complete dismissal of Vertical’s claims. Although Vopak looked forward to fighting the claims in front of a jury, we always believed that the claims were not only factually wrong but also legally flawed, and are pleased that the Court agreed.”

Vopak is a leading owner and operator of bulk liquid terminals around the world, and its flagship North American terminal is located in Deer Park, Texas on the Houston Ship Channel.

The case style is 2012-33666; Vertical North America, Inc. v. Vopak Terminal Deer Park, Inc.; In the 61st Judicial District of Harris County, Texas

Bracewell attorneys working on the case include:

Partners: Phillip L. Sampson, Jr. and Christopher L. Dodson

Associates: William A. Moss, Ryan C. Myers and Carlton D. Wilde III

Vopak attorneys involved in this case include:

Scott Grossman(General Counsel and Corporate Secretary)

Vertical was represented by Mayer Brown LLP.