U.S. Pipeline v. Northern Natural Gas Co.

We represented U.S. Pipeline (USPL), a Houston-based pipeline construction contractor, in a dispute against Omaha-based Northern Natural Gas (NNG) regarding NNG’s failure to properly compensate USPL for the installation of a portion of NNG’s natural gas pipeline. In July 2014, USPL contracted with NNG to install approximately 6.5 miles of natural gas pipeline for NNG in northern Michigan. The crux of USPL’s claims is that when USPL was approximately 90% finished with the work, NNG significantly expanded the scope of the project—forcing USPL to work an additional four months under severe weather conditions and to incur millions in additional costs. NNG refused to reimburse USPL for those added costs, citing change order procedures in the contract, and USPL sued to recover them.  NNG counterclaimed for liquidated damages and alleged overpayments resulting from scope changes.  After an 8-day bench trial (December 2017 in Omaha, Nebraska), the court awarded USPL its full breach-of-contract damages for NNG’s refusal to pay for the additional work (totaling $5.65 million in combination with other minor claims).  The court denied all of NNG’s counterclaims. NNG appealed the judgment, which appeal was heard by the Nebraska Supreme Court. The Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in its entirety in an opinion issued June 28, 2019. 

US Pipeline v Northern Natural Gas

The ruling is a slam-dunk win for Houston firm Gibbs & Bruns, which essentially defeated Warren Buffet in the case. NNG is owned by Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.
– " Houston Company Defeats Berkshire Hathaway in Nebraska Supreme Court," The Texas Lawbook, June 28, 2019