Jury finds in favor of Broad Street Energy in $3.5 million verdict
COLUMBUS - May 7, 2014 (updated November 2014) - A significant verdict was awarded to Broad Street Energy by unanimous jury verdict in a case before Judge Algenon Marbley in the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Columbus). Porter Wright attorneys Jim Curphey and David Bloomfield provided counsel for Broad Street Energy in this successful result.
The case, Broad Street Energy Co. v. Endeavor Ohio LLC, S.D. Ohio No. 2:12-cv-711, focused on a Purchase and Sale Agreement between Broad Street Energy and Endeavor Ohio LLC in April 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, Endeavor was to purchase $35 million in oil and gas assets from Broad Street Energy. The assets were located in Eastern Ohio -- Holmes, Wayne, Stark and Tuscarawas counties. Endeavor, which is tied to oil magnate Autry Stephens and Texas-based Endeavor Energy Resources LLC, claimed it planned to drill by means of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). Under the terms of the parties’ contract, Endeavor deposited $3.5 million into an escrow account. The closing under the agreement was slated to take place in August 2012, upon completion of Endeavor’s due diligence process.
In the summer of 2012, the market for assets in Eastern Ohio shifted, and the value of oil and gas assets depreciated. Similar wells drilled to the north of the assets in dispute also revealed disappointing results for oil producers. Endeavor terminated the agreement on July 9, 2012 and demanded the return of its deposit. Litigation followed shortly thereafter with Broad Street Energy suing Endeavor for breach of contract and Endeavor counter-claiming that it was entitled to terminate the agreement and receive its deposit back.
The parties filed competing motions for summary judgment. In September 2013, Judge Marbley denied Broad Street Energy’s motion and limited damages only to the escrow amount of $3.5 million (finding that Broad Street Energy had contractually agreed to a limitation of remedies). In the spring of 2014, Judge Marbley also denied Endeavor’s motion for summary judgment.
The trial lasted two-and-a-half days, and after a mere two hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a unanimous verdict in favor of Broad Street Energy awarding $3.5 million in damages. After trial, Judge Marbley awarded to Broad Street Energy more than $209,000 in pre-judgment interest, as well as post-judgment interest.