Equistar Chemicals, LP v. ClydeUnion DB, Ltd.

579 S.W.3d 505 (2019)

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Equistar Chemicals, LP v. ClydeUnion DB, Ltd.

Texas Court of Appeals
579 S.W.3d 505 (2019)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

Equistar Chemicals, LP (Equistar) (plaintiff) used pumps to transport ethane. Equistar purchased two specially designed pumps from ClydeUnion DB, Ltd. (ClydeUnion) (defendant) with the expectation that the pumps would increase transport capacity. After the first pump was delivered, Equistar installed and operated it in December 2012. Part of the pump failed, and the pump had to be shut down. The pump showed signs of excessive internal vibrations. In January 2013, the pump was twice started and shut down because of overheating and vibrations. The second pump was installed and likewise failed. Equistar worked with ClydeUnion, and hired an external company, to assess whether the vibrations were excessive. At one point, Equistar and ClydeUnion agreed that the pumps should be shut down. An outside company investigated and discovered that the pumps’ internal shafts were cracked. By November 2013, Equistar had gone back to using its previous pumps. Later, Equistar hired another company to repair the pumps purchased from ClydeUnion. Equistar sued ClydeUnion for breach of warranty, and ClydeUnion counterclaimed for breach of contract because Equistar had not paid the full price. The pumps’ operational defects were undisputed. The jury found that Equistar provided timely notice of breach of warranty but also found that Equistar had not given ClydeUnion a reasonable opportunity to cure the breaches (jury answer no. 8). The jury awarded amounts to Equistar and ClydeUnion for breaches of warranty and contract, respectively. The trial court, apparently deciding that Equistar was not entitled to an award of damages, entered a monetary judgment for ClydeUnion only. Equistar appealed, challenging the court’s seeming reliance on jury answer no. 8.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wise, J.)

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