September 2014

Air Liquide Awarded Damages, Attorneys’ Fees and Injunction in Contract Dispute

HOUSTON – Houston-based Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP prevailed on all claims in a Fort Bend County jury trial where the company collected $1.7 million from a customer that had sued seeking damages in a contract dispute.

Attorneys at Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, defeated a claim by NRM, a Texas industrial recycling and manufacturing company. NRM sought $2 million in damages, alleging fraud and breach of contract related to its purchase of industrial materials from Air Liquide. NRM claimed Air Liquide’s shipments of valuable nickel and chromium also contained hazardous waste in violation of the contract and California law.

AZA partner Tim Shelby and lawyer Tiffany Joudi worked on the case for Air Liquide along with AZA partner Todd Mensing. Mr. Mensing’s cross-examination of NRM’s primary environmental law and hazardous waste expert ended with the key witness admitting he was not, in fact, an expert. At the end of the 2½-week trial, the jury rejected all of NRM’s claims and awarded Air Liquide $1.7 million, representing full damages, including attorneys’ fees. The judge signed the final order in late August.

Air Liquide also obtained a permanent injunction barring NRM from attempting to return the materials to Air Liquide. During the dispute, NRM had threatened to dump the materials at Air Liquide’s Houston offices or at the home of a company executive.

The case is Air Liquide Large Industries U.S., LP v. NRM Investments, Inc., et al. Case No.12-DCV-199068 in the 400th Judicial District Court of Fort Bend County.

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2014 among the best in Texas commercial law and by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in the 2014 listing of the nation’s leading law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000. Read more at http://www.azalaw.com.