Williams, et al. v. Conoco, Inc., et al. and Samples, et al. v. Conoco, Inc., et al.
Our attorneys represented Agrico Chemical Company, a subsidiary of IMC Global, in class action and other litigation in Pensacola, Florida. Plaintiffs had sought property damages, medical monitoring, stigma damages, injunctive relief, and other relief based on various alleged impacts of historical operations and releases of hazardous substances.
Our toxic tort litigation team, having successfully reached a settlement with the class action plaintiffs on behalf of our client, Agrico, beat back an eleventh-hour attempt by a former co-defendant to escape its obligations under a private ADR agreement executed by the defendants back in 2001. The third responsible company, The Williams Companies (Williams), elected not to participate in the settlement, leaving the private arbitration process to resolve allocation of liability among the three companies. When Williams attempted to repudiate the ADR agreement, declaring it null and void, our team filed a motion to compel arbitration under a Florida statute; Williams responded with a motion to quash on grounds of personal jurisdiction. Following briefing and argument, the court first denied Williams' motion to quash, finding Williams subject to both specific and general jurisdiction in Florida, and then ruled that the ADR agreement was binding and in effect. Subsequently, we prevailed in "baseball" arbitration before Judge Abner Mikva, obtaining an award of indemnification and prejudgment interest against Williams in excess of US$20 million.