United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
MATHESON TRI-GAS, INC.
WILLIAMSON GENERAL CONTRACTORS, INC. Invoice Amount Invoice Amount
D. CAIN, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court are a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [doc.
105] and a Motion for Summary Judgment [doc. 110] filed by
Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. ("Matheson"). Defendant and
counter-plaintiff Williamson General Contractors, Inc.
("Williamson") opposes the Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment but not the Motion for Summary Judgment.
See doc. 108.
action began with a contract between Matheson and Williamson
for work on Matheson's Phase I construction of a new gas
plant ("Pelican project") in Westlake, Louisiana.
The court summarized the background as follows in ruling on
the previous motion for summary judgment:
On May 27, 2015, Williamson project manager Joey Quick
submitted a bid to provide construction services on the
mechanical installation at the plant, for the lump sum price
of $ 15.8 million. Matheson accepted Williamson's bid by
purchase order issued on May 29, 2015. Construction commenced
but was complicated by several design drawing revisions from
Matheson. Williamson responded with requests for change
orders, which Matheson disputed. The parties entered into a
"Change Order Agreement" effective February 2,
2016, under which Matheson agreed to pay Williamson an
additional $ 3.4 million for costs incurred by certain
revisions up to that date. The agreement specifically
excluded certain costs anticipated to be incurred after its
effective date, and further provided that "[a]ny
modifications made or issued after Feb. 2, 2016 will be
charged at the cost plus rates."
On April 21, 2016, Matheson issued a letter of intent to
award the mechanical portion of the Pelican Phase II project
to Williamson. On June 30, 2016, Williamson demanded an
additional sum of approximately $ 6.5 million to continue
work on the Phase I project. By email dated July 4, 2016,
Matheson stated that it would need a few days to evaluate the
information presented and directed Williamson not to return
to the project until advised to do so by Matheson. The
following day, Matheson advised Williamson that it was
terminating the parties' business relationship effective
immediately and rescinding the letter of intent relating to
Matheson then filed suit in this court, asserting federal
diversity jurisdiction. In the complaint Matheson maintains
that it paid Williamson all sums due and owing under their
agreements but that Williamson continued to demand
"additional unreasonable sums" to complete the
facility and then breached the agreements by abandoning the
project on or about June 30, 2016. As a result, Matheson
asserts, several of Williamson's subcontractors have
filed or threatened to file liens against the facility to
recover sums that they allege are owed by Williamson.
Accordingly, Matheson seeks damages incurred from
Williamson's alleged breaches and subrogation to the
rights of any subcontractors it must satisfy based on the
above liens. It has also amended its complaint to add claims
of indemnity and bad faith breach of contract.
Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. v. Williamson Gen. Contractors,
Inc., 2019 WL 1562247, at *1 (W.D. La. Feb. 28, 2019),
report and recommendation adopted, 2019 WL 1561369 (W.D. La.
Apr. 10, 2019) (citations omitted). Williamson also asserted
numerous counterclaims against Matheson. Docs. 6, 24.
Matheson moved for summary judgment on all counterclaims and
the court granted the motion, except as to the claims for (1)
bad faith breach of contract based on failure to pay amounts
owed under the agreements and (2) detrimental reliance based
on representations about the completion of the design
drawings. Matheson, 2019 WL 1562247, at *7.
now moves for partial summary judgment on its claims against
Williamson, asserting that it is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law on its claim for indemnity under the Louisiana
Private Works Act ("LPWA"), La. Rev. Stat. §
9:4801 et seq. Doc. 105. Williamson opposes the
motion. Doc. 108. Matheson also moves for summary judgment on
Williamson's two remaining counterclaims. Doc. 110.
Williams has not filed any opposition to this motion and its
time for doing so has passed. Accordingly, the motion is
regarded as unopposed.
should grant a motion for summary judgment when the movant
shows "that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56. The party moving for
summary judgment is initially responsible for identifying
portions of pleadings and discovery that show the lack of a
genuine issue of material fact. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V
Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995). The court must
deny the motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to
meet this burden. Id.
movant makes this showing, however, the burden then shifts to
the non-moving party to "set forth specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986) (quotations omitted). This requires more than mere
allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings.
Instead, the nonmovant must submit "significant
probative evidence" in support of his claim. State
Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman, 896 F.2d 116, 118 (5th
Cir. 1990). "If the evidence is merely colorable, or is
not significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249 (citations
may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence
in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc.,530 U.S. 133, 150
(2000). The court is also required to view all evidence in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Clift v.
Gift,210 F.3d 268, 270 (5th Cir. 2000). Under this
standard, a genuine issue of material fact exists if a
reasonable trier of fact could render a verdict for the
nonmoving party, Brumfteld v. Hollins,551 F.3d 322,
326 (5th Cir. 2008). When the motion is unopposed, the moving
party retains its burden of showing that there is no genuine
issue of material fact. Hetzel v. Bethlehem Steel
Corp.,50 F.3d 360, 362 (5th ...