Vinson & Elkins Secures $94 Million Jury Verdict for Huntsman Corporation
On April 29, 2022, a team of Vinson & Elkins trial attorneys secured an approximately $94 million jury verdict for Huntsman Corporation, a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals, in connection with the Company’s long-running court battle against Praxair/Linde, one of the industrial gas suppliers to Huntsman’s Geismar, Louisiana methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) manufacturing site.
The case involved the breach of a requirements contract by Praxair/Linde for the supply of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, gases needed for Huntsman to manufacture MDI at its Geismar facility.
After a three-week trial in Orleans Civil District Court, the 12-person jury took less than three hours to render its verdict, unanimously finding that Praxair breached its promises to Huntsman and that those breaches directly caused Huntsman substantial financial damages.
In a press release after the jury verdict was returned, Peter R. Huntsman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “This lawsuit was filed in 2014 and justice was a very long time coming. I could not be prouder of the entire Huntsman team – from our PU division and purchasing personnel who managed the constant operational and commercial upsets occurring when Praxair’s poorly-maintained facilities went down from 2004 through 2013, to our corporate legal and finance teams that pursued the litigation through trial after we filed suit. They displayed the integrity, professionalism, perseverance, and ingenuity – hallmarks of Huntsman associates around the world – needed to take on and defeat an irresponsible and better-funded adversary on the ground at Geismar and in the courts in New Orleans. I’d like to recognize all of them and thank the 12 members of the jury and the trial judge for their time and commitment to fairness in the courtroom.”
The V&E team was led by partners Jim Thompson, Chris Popov and Quentin Smith, with assistance from associates Page Robinson, Aurra Fellows and Carly Goodson. Partners Marie Yeates and Mike Heidler and associate Parker Cragg provided appellate support. James M. Williams of New Orleans-based trial firm Chehardy, Sherman & Williams served as co-counsel.
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