Monday, September 8, 2008

Hess cogen unit must pay $6.3M damages

A jury in San Diego has ordered New Jersey's Hess Microgen, a subsidiary of the oil giant Hess Corp., to pay a total of $8.2 million for deliberately withholding deliveries to harm a competing contractor.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported September 5 that lawyers for Xnergy, a Carlsbad, CA contractor that serves biotechnology and high-technology companies, argued in the trial that Hess Microgen sought to damage Xnergy so it could win the contractor's jobs for itself.

Hess Microgen “engaged in blatant corporate bullying and corporate blackmail by bringing jobs to a halt, effectively holding the projects hostage,” said Xnergy's lawyer, L.B. “Chip” Edleson of San Diego.

The 12-person jury apparently agreed in verdicts that found Hess Microgen had breached its duty of acting in good faith and intentionally interfering with a contract. The jury, in a separate decision, awarded almost $6.3 million in punitive damages for breach of faith and other misconduct.

Edleson's law partner told the Union Tribune that Hess Microgen faces similar lawsuits in San Diego, San Francisco and Reno over three other cogeneration projects. The other San Diego suit against Hess Microgen was filed by the city of San Diego over cogeneration equipment failures and other problems at a San Diego Police Department installation.


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