Construction Litigation

Gibbs & Bruns lawyers have extensive litigation and arbitration experience with construction- and engineering-related disputes involving nuclear power plants, gas plants, petrochemical plants, and refineries.  Our experience also includes matters involving commercial real estate, marina, and wharf facilities.

Zachry Construction Corporation v. Port of Houston Authority
In this case, which was closely watched by the construction industry in Texas and across the country, Gibbs & Bruns recovered more than $37.2 million for its client, Zachry Construction Corporation, after a successful trial and multiple appellate proceedings that established numerous legal principles favorable to Zachry regarding construction law and governmental immunity.

Following a complex three-month jury trial against the Port of Houston Authority—and a resulting jury verdict for Zachry—the trial court entered a final judgment on April 28, 2010 awarding Plaintiff Zachry $23.4 million in damages.  This breach of contract lawsuit arose from the Port’s last-minute rejection of a contractually approved construction method Zachry intended to use to build a 2000-foot wharf facility.  Prior to trial, we successfully defeated several summary judgment motions filed by the Port seeking to dismiss the case in its entirety.  We also won several pre-trial rulings that narrowed the issues to be tried in Zachry’s favor.

On appeal, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment.  The Texas Supreme Court granted review and reversed the appellate court’s decision, finding in favor of Zachry, and remanded the case to the court of appeals for further consideration.  In December 2016, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s $23.4 million judgment.  On September 1, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Port’s petition for review, and the judgment became final.  The Port paid Zachry more than $33.5 million to satisfy the judgment, including post-judgment interest, and also agreed to pay more than $3.8 million in retainage that the Port had withheld during the litigation.

ExxonMobil Corp. v. Doosan Heavy Industry Construction Co., Ltd., et al.
We represented one of South Korea’s largest construction companies against ExxonMobil and Fluor Daniel in a matter involving alleged faulty construction of pressure vessels used at petrochemical plants.  The case settled favorably for our client on a confidential basis.

Zachry Construction Corporation. v. ABB Lummus Global, et al.
We represented Zachry Construction Corporation in a dispute concerning cost overruns and delay costs involving the construction of a $700 million ethylene cracking plant (the worlds’ largest ethylene plant by volume at that time).  Following two years of litigation, a favorable confidential settlement was reached for our client.

Panda Temple Power, LLC v. Stupp Bros., Inc., et al.
We represented Stupp Bros., Inc., a US-based infrastructure development company, who was sued as a third-party defendant in two lawsuits filed in Dallas state and federal courts.  The dispute arose out of the construction of a 14-mile high-pressure natural gas pipeline, for which Stupp manufactured and supplied the majority of the steel line pipe.  The construction contractor alleged it experienced delays and additional work that entitled it to substantial additional payments, and the owner of the project filed suit against Stupp seeking to recover nearly $10 million in damages.  Stupp denied the allegations and counterclaimed for recovery of its unpaid invoices.  Following early depositions of plaintiff’s witnesses and confirming that the pipe supplied by Stupp fully complied with the agreed-upon specifications, we moved for summary judgment on behalf of Stupp on all claims against Stupp and on Stupp’s affirmative claims for payment.  While Stupp’s summary judgment was pending, the plaintiff agreed to a confidential settlement on terms very favorable to Stupp.