Enterprise Products Partners L.P. today announced the company has prevailed in its appeal against Energy Transfer Partners. This appeal stems from a 2014 Dallas jury verdict in a lawsuit filed by Energy Transfer over a proposed pipeline project that was cancelled due to a lack of customer support.
In April 2011, Enterprise and Energy Transfer signed a series of agreements disclaiming any partnership or joint venture absent executed definitive documents and board approvals of the two companies. Definitive agreements were never executed and board approval was never obtained.
“This case needed decisive action because it had the potential to stand as one of the worst for business in Texas since the Texaco v. Pennzoil decision from the 1980s,” said Enterprise appellate lawyer David E. Keltner. “Sophisticated parties need the right to rely on written contracts. Partnership by ambush is a bad public policy and goes against the freedom to contract guaranteed by the Texas Constitution. The business world breathed a sigh of relief today when ‘partnership by ambush’ was ruled out of bounds in Texas.”