Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

East African Drilling Ltd. v. OEJP, LLC

Court of Appeals of Texas, First District

March 27, 2018

EAST AFRICAN DRILLING LTD. A/K/A EAST AFRICA DRILLING LTD., Appellant
v.
OEJP, LLC, Appellee ART FM SPC AND ASSURED RISK TRANSFER LLC, Appellants
v.
OEJP, LLC, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 215th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Case No. 2015-58376

          Panel consists of Justices Jennings, Bland, and Brown.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Terry Jennings Justice

         Appellant, East African Drilling Ltd., also known as East Africa Drilling Ltd. ("East African Drilling"), [1] challenges the trial court's judgment in favor of appellee, OEJP, LLC ("OEJP"), the assignee of several plaintiffs and intervenors[2] in their suit against East African Drilling for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, quantum meruit/unjust enrichment, money had and received, and "[e]nforcement of [a] [c]onstitutional [l]ien, " "[m]ineral [p]roperty [l]ien, " and mechanic's lien.[3] In three issues, East African Drilling contends that the trial court erred in imposing "death penalty" sanctions against it.

         We affirm.

         Background

         In their amended petition, plaintiffs alleged that they had entered into a contract with East African Drilling under which it "agreed to pay [them] wages for their work in the 'rig up' and modifications of an LCI 2000 HP Drilling Rig" (the "rig") owned by East African Drilling. However, East African Drilling did not make the required payments under the parties' contract, and plaintiffs brought suit against it for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, quantum meruit/unjust enrichment, money had and received, and "[e]nforcement of [a] [c]onstitutional [l]ien."

         In its plea in intervention, 66 Oilfield Services alleged that East African Drilling had entered into a contract with Landrun Energy Services, LLC ("Landrun Energy")[4] "to purchase certain equipment and goods to use on the 'rig up' and refurbishment of the [r]ig." East African Drilling then provided Landrun Energy with the "specific requirements and specifications" for the necessary equipment and goods along with a mandatory shipment date.

         Once Landrun Energy procured the requested equipment and goods, East African Drilling then inspected and accepted them. It, however, refused to pay for the equipment and goods, and it "delay[ed] the[ir] shipment date." 66 Oilfield Services, as the assignee of Landrun Energy, brought suit against East African Drilling for breach of contract, money had and received, and "[e]nforcement of [a] [c]onstitutional [l]ien, " "[m]ineral [p]roperty [l]ien, " and mechanic's lien.

         In its plea in intervention, Oklahoma Rig Fabricators alleged that as part of the "refurbishment" of the rig, East African Drilling had agreed to pay it $535, 000 for "a specially assembled and manufactured mud pump." After Oklahoma Rig Fabricators purchased and assembled the necessary "goods and equipment" for the mud pump, East African Drilling "inspected" and "approved it." East African Drilling, however, did not pay Oklahoma Rig Fabricators the full amount due for the mud pump, and Oklahoma Rig Fabricators brought suit against it for breach of contract, money had and received, and "[e]nforcement of [a] [c]onstitutional [l]ien, " "[m]ineral [p]roperty [l]ien, " and mechanic's lien.

         East African Drilling answered plaintiffs' petition and the pleas in intervention, generally denying the allegations, asserting certain affirmative defenses, and asserting that plaintiffs' and intervenors' breach-of-contract claims were meritless, their constitutional-lien claims were invalid, and it had not committed fraud, made any misrepresentations, been unjustly enriched, or held any money belonging to another party.

         During the course of the litigation, plaintiffs and intervenors sought to depose Leo Budd ("Budd"), a purported "owner and director" of East African Drilling. On October 22, 2015, plaintiffs served East African Drilling with a notice of intention to take Budd's oral deposition, which East African Drilling moved to quash. Plaintiffs responded to East African Drilling's motion to quash, moving to compel Budd's oral deposition. On January 14, 2016, after a hearing, the trial court granted plaintiffs' motion to compel, ordering East African Drilling to "produce . . . Budd for deposition, in person, in Harris County, Texas, within seven days."

         Following the trial court's January 14, 2016 order, East African Drilling agreed to produce Budd for his deposition on February 9, 2016 in Harris County. However, East African Drilling also filed a motion to reconsider the trial court's order compelling Budd's oral deposition, and it subsequently informed plaintiffs that it would not produce Budd in Harris County, as required by the trial court. Rather, it would make Budd available to be deposed on February 9, 2016 in Montgomery County, Texas.

         On January 26, 2016, plaintiffs and intervenors filed their second motion for sanctions, [5] requesting that the trial court assess death penalty sanctions[6] against East African Drilling and asserting that it had intentionally not complied with a proper discovery request and the trial court's January 14, 2016 order. In their motion, plaintiffs and intervenors noted that the trial court had previously stricken East African Drilling's "verified denial of agency" and East African Drilling continued to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.