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Firm Successfully Fends Off Challenge To CPA Decision

April 7, 2008

DALLAS (April 7, 2008) — In a ruling issued April 2, the 5th District Court of Appeals fully upheld the widely publicized judgment previously won by Bracewell & Giuliani partner Christopher H. Rentzel on behalf of Corporate Property Associates in its 2006 breach of lease case against Varo Inc.

In the original action, the jury found that the tenant, VHC, formerly known as Varo Inc., and its parent company, IMO Industries, failed to comply with lease agreement provisions and were liable for holdover rent on contaminated leased commercial property until the State had approved the tenant’s remediation efforts.  As a result, the jury awarded landlord Corporate Property Associates $3.8 million in damages and fees.

“We are, of course, always pleased when a court affirms a positive outcome for our client,” said Mr. Rentzel.  “This decision was particularly satisfying because it confirmed that a tenant's environmental cleanup obligations in Texas have not been fulfilled until the State says so,” added Mr. Rentzel.

Houston appellate partner Warren W. Harris, Austin environmental partner Timothy A. Wilkins, and Dallas trial associate Kevin T. Schutte also worked on the case.