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.