no subheading added

Hicks Johnson Wins Summary Judgment in Federal Bankruptcy Case

Hicks Johnson Wins Summary Judgment in Federal Bankruptcy Case

Managing partner Andy Hicks, senior counsel Brandon Winchester, and associate Fraser Holmes secured a victory on summary judgment in a long-running case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. This ruling brings to an end five years of procedurally complex litigation against our client, C&J Spec-Rent Services Inc. (C&J), as well as the elimination of millions of dollars of potential exposure.

C&J was an oil field servicing company that entered into a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with ZaZa Energy LLC (ZaZa), an exploration and production company, in 2011. Provisions in the MSA required C&J to indemnify ZaZa for losses ZaZa might incur if a worker suffered injury or death during the drilling job. In 2015, a worker died after being involved in an accident on a wellsite owned by ZaZa. This led to a wrongful death lawsuit, which ZaZa settled.

While these proceedings were ongoing, C&J entered bankruptcy. When ZaZa sought indemnification from the insurance underwriters, the underwriters refused, arguing that it no longer had any obligation to indemnify following the bankruptcy court’s confirmation of C&J’s bankruptcy plan. ZaZa sued the underwriters and C&J, alleging that C&J had tortiously interfered by encouraging the underwriters to not provide the contracted-for coverage.

Over the years, the case moved from state to federal court before landing in the Southern District. At that point, the Hicks Johnson team swiftly moved for summary judgment. The court agreed, dismissing all claims and delivering our client a complete victory.