PONTCHARTRAIN NATURAL GAS SYSTEM, k/d/s Promix, L.L.C., and Acadian Gas Pipeline System
TEXAS BRINE COMPANY, LLC
Rehearing Denied August 7, 2019
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Appeal from the 23rd Judicial District Court, In and for the
Parish of Assumption, State of Louisiana, Trial Court No.
34,265, Honorable Thomas J. Kliebert, Jr., Judge Presiding
Z. Sher, James M. Gamer, Peter L. Hilbert, Jr., Jeffrey D.
Kessler, New Orleans, LA, Travis J. Turner, Gonzales, LA,
Robert Ryland Percy, III, Gonzales, LA, Eric J. Mayer,
Houston, TX, Attorneys for Appellant/Defendant, Third-Party
Plaintiff, Texas Brine Company, LLC
J. Randazzo, III, Christopher B. Bailey, Will Montz,
Lafayette, LA, Attorneys for Appellee/Third-Party Defendant,
Browning Oil Company, Inc.
GUIDRY, HIGGINBOTHAM, AND THERIOT, JJ.
[2018-0631 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] This is an appeal from a
district court judgment dismissing a third-party defendant on
a motion for involuntary dismissal during a bench trial.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
pertinent background in this complex litigation has been
repeated multiple times in several appeals. This particular
appeal relates to the Phase 1 liability trial in one of the
numerous lawsuits surrounding the August 3, 2012 Bayou Come
sinkhole that developed near the Napoleonville Salt Dome in
Assumption Parish. The plaintiffs, Pontchartrain Natural
Gas System, K/D/S Promix, L.L.C., and Acadian Gas Pipeline
(collectively "Pontchartrain"), own and operate
natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the vicinity
of the property affected by the sinkhole. After the sinkhole
emerged, Pontchartrain and other pipeline companies, Florida
Gas Transmission Company, LLC ("Florida Gas"), and
Crosstex Energy Services ("Crosstex"), brought
separate lawsuits against Texas Brine. In each of the main
demands, the pipeline companies sought recovery for damages
to their respective inoperable pipelines due to the alleged
negligence of Texas Brine Company, LLCs ("Texas
Brine") operation of a brine production well known as
the Oxy Geismer #3 Well ("OG3").
Brine responded to each lawsuit by filing identical
incidental demands asserting tort and contract claims against
various parties, including Browning Oil Company, Inc., which
was one of the operators of an adjacent oil and gas well
known as the Adams-Hooker #1 Well ("AH1"). Texas
Brine sought recovery for its own damages in the form of
reimbursement expenses for environmental-response [2018-0631
La.App. 1 Cir. 3] costs that it paid out after the sinkhole