Plains Pipeline Prevails in Houston Indemnity Lawsuit, Awarded $450,000 in Legal Fees

Tue Apr 2, 2013 10:36am EDT

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AZA helps client overturn BP's earlier win in pumping station case
HOUSTON,  April 2, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.,
(NYSE: PAA) recently won a victory against BP Oil Pipeline Company (NYSE: BP)
when a  Houston  judge tossed a BP lawsuit and ordered the company to pay all of
Plains Pipeline's legal fees.

Last week, the judge in  Harris County's 80th  District Court awarded  $453,400 
in attorneys' fees for Plains Pipeline based on arguments from attorneys  John
Zavitsanos  and  Elizabeth Pannill Fletcher  from  Houston's  Ahmad, Zavitsanos,
Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing, P.C.  (or AZA).

Two weeks ago, the judge dismissed a BP lawsuit filed in 2011 that sought to
force Plains Pipeline to indemnify BP in a  Louisiana  trespass lawsuit. The 
Houston  case was filed by BP due to a prior lawsuit by landowners who claimed
BP trespassed on their property by using an oil pumping station on Grand Terre
Island for 26 years without leasing or having any easement on the land. BP sold
the pumping station to Plains Pipeline in 2006 before filing the  Harris County 
lawsuit in an attempt to require Plains Pipeline to cover any BP losses. Click 
here  (subscription required) to see a story from Law360 about the case.

In 2012, before AZA was hired, the Court granted BP a summary judgment that
required Plains Pipeline to cover BP's losses, including awarding attorneys'
fees to BP.

That's when Plains Pipeline hired AZA to step in. Five months after AZA asked
for the court's reconsideration in  October 2012, the case was dismissed with
attorneys' fees being awarded to Plains Pipeline instead. AZA made clearer the
full terms of the agreements between BP and Plains Pipeline and why BP had no
actual claim to indemnification.  

"This is a just reversal of fortune for our client. It's unusual, but entirely
appropriate here, to see a defendant granted attorneys' fees under the
declaratory judgment statute," says Mr. Zavitsanos, a founding partner of AZA.  

The case is  BP Oil Pipeline Co. v. Plains Pipeline, L.P., No. 2011-39550. 

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a  Houston-based
law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record
in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property,
securities fraud, construction and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by 
U.S. News & World Report  and  The Best Lawyers in America  as one of the
country's best commercial litigation firms in the 2013 listing of the nation's
leading law firms. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country's
best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 1000. AZA has been
hired on many occasions by the same companies the firm has prevailed against at
trial. Read more at  http://www.azalaw.com.

For more information on AZA's victory for Plains Pipeline, please contact  Mary
Flood  at 800-559-4534 or  mary@androvett.com.

SOURCE  Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C.

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