Another Client Victory in Texas Supreme Court Oil & Gas Dispute over Well Accident
May 9, 2022 – On March 11, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court sided with DGC client Energen Resources Corp. in a dispute over an accident during the drilling of a water well on an oil-and-gas lease. In the case, Energen Resources Corp. v. Wallace, No. 20-0451, a water well contractor and its employee sued oil-and-gas lessee Energen after suffering injuries in the accident. Appellate attorney Ryan Clinton wrote Energen’s briefing and presented oral argument at the Texas Supreme Court.
In the trial court, Energen moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit based on Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Chapter 95 limits liability for Texas commercial property owners sued for injuries arising from conditions or uses of improvements that the contractors were hired to construct or repair. The plaintiffs argued that Chapter 95 didn’t apply. Energen argued that Chapter 95 applied because, according to the plaintiffs’ own pleadings, the accident arose from a condition of the water well—the presence of natural gas. The Texas Supreme Court agreed with Energen and rendered judgment that the plaintiffs take nothing on their claims.
To view Mr. Clinton’s paper, click below.