- Weil serves as lead trial counsel for ExxonMobil in a number of disputes in state and federal courts relating to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline. The actions have been brought by various States, including New Hampshire, Vermont and New Jersey, seeking to recover for alleged groundwater contamination at sites throughout those states. The federal action, involving claims by the State of New Jersey, is part of the MDL currently pending in the Southern District of New York. The other actions are pending in state court.
- Weil represented several officers and directors in a shareholder derivative action alleging they breached their fiduciary duties by failing to properly oversee the company’s development of the Point Thomson Unit of the North Slope of Alaska. The court granted our motion to dismiss.
- Weil negotiated an extremely favorable settlement for the client in a multidistrict litigation filed in federal court in Kansas comprising more than 30 putative class actions that have been filed against motor fuel retailers (MFRs) throughout warmer regions of the United States. Plaintiffs allege that they pay billions of dollars extra every year because of MFRs’ alleged failure to adjust the size or price to account for thermal expansion – wherein a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel has less energy content at warmer temperatures than the same gallon would have at cooler temperatures – and that they are entitled to past damages.
Weil serves as lead trial counsel for Spanish energy company Repsol in a major litigation that involves allegedly billions of dollars of liabilities in connection with pollution of the Passaic River in New Jersey, which was dismissed in its entirety on summary judgement on the eve of trial. After a series of settlements between the parties and the state in 2013 and 2014, the Weil team achieved a number of significant and case-changing victories. First, in a February 2015 order granting Repsol’s motion to dismiss, Weil eliminated nine of OCC’s eleven cross claims, leaving only OCC’s claims for recovery based on an alter ego theory of contract liability. Second, in a series of January 2016 recommendations from the Special Master granting Repsol’s motion for summary judgment and denying OCC’s summary judgment motion, Weil eliminated OCC’s remaining claims for recovery based on alter ego and retained its counterclaim under the New Jersey Spill Act against OCC for recovery of the $65 million Repsol paid in clean-up costs in its settlement with the state departments. Those recommendations were entered in toto by the New Jersey Superior Court after several days of oral argument in April 2016. The court agreed with our argument and interpretation of alter ego law, finding OCC could not, as it argued, pierce the veil directly to Repsol. Instead, under its theory of alter ego liability, which included claims against several entities in a multi-layered corporate chain, OCC was required by law to pierce the veil of each intervening corporate entity in that chain. Weil was successful in presenting a number of reasons why OCC could not meet this legal requirement, including OCC’s failure to link any domination by Repsol to its alleged harm, as well as the existence of a solvent entity that stood as an insurmountable barrier between Maxus and Repsol that was able to pay for any obligation allegedly owed to OCC, thereby eliminating any potential of harm or injustice. All claims against Repsol have been resolved, and the court allowed Repsol to pursue its counterclaim against OCC for recovery of the $65 million in clean-up costs it paid in settling with the New Jersey state departments, which was set for trial in June 2016. On the eve of trial, Maxus Energy Corp. filed for bankruptcy. In October 2017, the Superior Court of New Jersey adopted the recommendation of the Special Master and granted Respol’s motion for summary judgment to recover the $65 million from OCC, thereby bringing nearly a decade of litigation to a successful close.
Weil successfully represented solar technology company Specialized Technology Resources, Inc. (STR) in a protracted litigation in connection with statutory and common law misappropriation claims dating back to 2007 in a case involving STR’s proprietary technology used in the manufacture of encapsulants that protect solar panels.