Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Kean Miller has represented the Louisiana chemical industry since its earliest presence in the state. Many of the firm's national and international chemical and refining clients came to our predecessor firm in the 1920s for assistance in the acquisition of land for their first Louisiana sites. As these companies expanded in Louisiana, so did the variety and complexity of their legal needs. Today, petrochemical companies continue to rely on Kean Miller for their legal services based on our understanding of the complex needs of the industry, our knowledge of their business, and our Louisiana know-how.
Representative Industry Experience:
- Served as Trial Attorney/Counsel in defending high-profile, multiple-plaintiff lawsuits arising out of an explosion and fire at a major Louisiana chemical manufacturing facility. The Kean Miller emergency response and trial teams assisted our client in official notifications, evidence preservation, incident investigation, interaction with state and federal regulatory authorities, litigation management, and complex mass joinder and personal injury trial defense in multiple venues, including taking several cases to verdict.
- Representation of the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) in connection with development of the initial RECAP rules and proposed revisions to those rules. In addition, we have represented the LCA in rulemaking and litigation on the development of the Louisiana Ambient Water Quality Standards; development of an implementation policy for application of water quality standards; TMDLs; air issues; hazardous waste issues; agency administrative practice/procedure issues; and state environmental legislation development.
Admiralty and Maritime:
- Representation of a large French chemical, agri-chemcial and pharmaceutical producer seeking to recover damages from a commercial barge towing company involved in a collision with an acid loading dock on the Mississippi River.
- Representation of a major fertilizer producer in maritime tort litigation involving an accident aboard a barge on the Mississippi River and in a resulting personal injury claim.
- Defense of claims against petrochemical companies arising under general Maritime law and involving alleged exposure to benzene being transported by various vessels.
- Representation of a chemical manufacturer in a 905(b) action involving an accident on loading facilities belonging to our client and involving the unloading of a barge. The case was tried to jury which returned a zero verdict in favor of our client.
Business, Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate:
- Lead outside counsel in the sale of a styrene-butadiene rubber business unit of an international chemical company to a private equity company. The transaction took the form of an asset transaction, and involved issues particular to the sale of an on-going industrial business, such as those relating to ERISA, unions, state and local taxes and environmental regulatory matters.
- Representation of numerous chemical refiners in the formation of numerous “in plant” ventures.
- Representation of a Fortune 10 energy and chemical company in the two-stage acquisition of a plastics plant.
- Representation of an industry service company and its shareholders in the sale of all stock to a global service provider. Negotiations focused heavily on the terms for escrowing of the purchase price to satisfy potential indemnity claims. Further adding to the complexity of the transaction were issues relating to foreign ownership of assets and filings under Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
- Representation of a chemical company in connection with a fabrication agreement for specialized vessels with a foreign fabricator.
Cogeneration and Utilities Regulation:
- Representation of the Louisiana Energy Users Group (LEUG) for over 15 years. LEUG is an unincorporated association of manufacturing, refining, and related business operations located in Louisiana. We represent the organization in all major energy dockets before the Louisiana Public Service Commission and in dockets before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We have provided extensive representation and advice to industrial and generation developers on state and federal electric power issues impacting proposed power projects.
- Representation of the lenders in the financing of a cogeneration facility at a major chemical facility in Geismar, Louisiana.
- Representation of a client in the construction and financing of a cogeneration facility in Carville, Louisiana.
Commercial and Industrial Real Estate:
- Representation of an international chemical company in its $242 million acquisition of the owner of all of the stock of a major rubber and chemical company. We also provided legal services in connection with the resale of the stock. We examined title to the petrochemical facilities located in East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes and submitted the title opinion which supported the closing of the purchase.
- Representation of global fertilizer company in connection with a lease for a plant-in-plant project and related services agreements.
- Representation of a purchaser in the multimillion dollar acquisition of salt domes for a waste disposal by a Canadian company.
- Representation of the former Mobil Oil Corporation as its sole outside counsel in the complete documentation of the formation of a joint venture for the Chalmette refinery and in the course of that work examined title and issued a title policy supporting the transaction.
- Representation of a global chemical company in the examination of title, rendering of title opinions and issuance of title policies for all company property in Louisiana.
- Representation of an international chemical refiner in its acquisition of certain facilities from an aluminum and chemical company in Baton Rouge, and its acquisition of other facilities.
- Louisiana counsel to a chemical client in all real estate aspects of its acquisition of a chemical refining facility in Shreveport, Louisiana.
- Representation of a global chemical company in the due diligence on real estate acquired in numerous acquisitions and other joint ventures in Louisiana.
- Representation of an international chemical company in the acquisition of property within a refinery for a specialty chemical plant.
- Representation of a chemical company in contract drafting and examination of title to the plants in Lake Charles, Louisiana which involved a price of $540,000,000.
- Representation of a Fortune 10 petrochemical company in the formation of a polymer company which involved the acquisition in two stages of a plastics plant in Baton Rouge.
- Defense of a chemical plant owner in industrial construction litigation involving construction of MDI-2 production unit.
- Representation of a global engineering firm regarding allegations of breach of representations and warranties related to a multi-million dollar expansion project at a chemical facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
- Representation of a chemical division of an energy company in actions adverse to a surety and construction company regarding issues related to construction of a multi-million dollar industrial facility in St. Bernard and Ascension Parishes.
- Representation of a Fortune 10 petrochemical corporation in a $20 million case before the Mississippi Supreme Court involving construction claims including overruns, cardinal changes, and quantum meruit issues. The case involved the dismantling of an ammonia plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi and its reassembly in Pakistan. The case was affirmed on appeal by the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Environmental Regulation and Permitting:
- Successfully obtained air and water permits for a greenfield merchant power plant (co-generation) in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.
- Representation of a global energy refining company in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving an attempt by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to revoke our client’s exemption from continuous chlorination of a chemical plant water system. If upheld, the revocation would have required a multimillion dollar reconfiguration of the water system. The Administrative Law Judge ruled, based on the strength of the Kean Miller team’s hearing presentation and argument in post-hearing briefs, that the Department improperly revoked the exemption.
- Successfully obtained air permits for major paper mill expansion. After issuance of the permit, the permit was challenged in the 19th Judicial District Court. The permit was upheld by the district court after a hearing and rehearing.
- Successfully obtained air permit and water permit modification for the chemical division of an energy company for the addition of new polyolefins production unit to an existing facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The permits were subsequently upheld by the 19th Judicial District Court, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
- Successfully obtained temporary authorization under RCRA for an international chemical client to burn napalm shipped to Louisiana from a United States Navy site in California. A lawsuit was filed in United States District Court to enjoin DEQ from issuing the temporary permit. Kean Miller LLP represented facility in connection with the permit and were successful in obtaining dismissal of the lawsuit.
- Successfully obtained permit revisions for air and water permits to allow a chemical industry service provider to recycle hazardous waste.
- Representation of numerous chemical facilities with respect to hazardous waste (RCRA) permit issuance and modification.
- Representation of numerous facilities with respect to air permit and water permit issuance and modification.
Environmental, Toxic Tort and Class Action Litigation:
- Representation of a a major chemical company in class actions filed as a result of three releases within a four month period. Our representation included an eight-week trial of six representative claims. The jury awarded less than 5% of the plaintiffs requested amount. After the trial, the claims were settled for a fraction of the plaintiffs’ initial demand.
- Representation of a pesticide manufacturer in a class action lawsuit involving the alleged contamination of crawfish farming facilities.
- Representation of global fertilizer company in six class action lawsuits that were filed following a release of ammonia from their Geismar, Louisiana facility. The plaintiffs claim they are entitled to recover damages for numerous injuries allegedly sustained from exposure to ammonia. The release resulted in a shelter in place being ordered by local authorities.
- Representation of seven chemical companies in the Combustion, Inc. litigation. In this action we represented the companies on a joint defense basis. This litigation was a class action suit involving over 9,900 plaintiffs in connection with alleged exposure from the Combustion, Inc. "Superfund" site.
- Representation of over 30 defendant companies in a class action involving alleged contamination of air, soil and groundwater from a Superfund site in Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana. We were successful in removing the pending litigation to federal court and defeating a motion to remand.
- Representation of a global petrochemical client in over 200 separate suits, involving over 30,000 plaintiffs, as a result of explosions and fires at the Baton Rouge refinery. The cases have involved claims for personal injury, property damage, fear of cancer, exposure to numerous chemicals and substances, including benzene.
- Representation of a major fertilizer company in a class action suit in connection with an explosion at a nitroparaffins plant in Sterlington, Louisiana. The explosion resulted in several deaths and hundreds of individual claims for personal injury and property damage.
- Representation of a chemical industry client with regard to a “Superfund nominated site” near Shreveport, Louisiana. Over 2,000 neighbors alleged property damage and personal injury exposure from ground water migration and air contamination.
- Representation of a chemical company in over 150 lawsuits filed in Louisiana and Mississippi as a result of a rupture of a nitrogen tetroxide railcar at a chemical facility in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The incident resulted in the evacuation of part of the city.
- Representation of a major chemical refiner in a class action involving over 6,000 claims arising out a leaking transport trailer containing boron trifluoride which resulted in an evacuation and shelter-in-place of a residential neighborhood near Interstate 12 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Representation of a major chemical company in a class action invoking over 8,000 claims arising out a valve malfunction at a chemical manufacturing facility located adjacent to a residential area in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Representation of a chemical company in a class action involving several thousand claims arising from an accidental release of antimony pentachloride at a chemical facility. The class action was denied.
- Representation of a global fertilizer company in coverage claims involving contractual indemnity for bodily injury.
- Representation of an international chemical company in the recovery of settlement monies paid for bodily injury and property damages and in environmental class action litigation.
- Successful representation of a chemical company in a multi-million dollar insurance coverage dispute arising out of mass tort claims in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
- Successful representation of a chemical plant in a complex insurance coverage and indemnity dispute with a large engineering firm while the engineering firm was in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Representation of chemical research corporation in a patent infringement lawsuit.
Labor and Employment:
- Representation of major chemical facilities as employer in jury trial in state court in which plaintiff alleged unlawful sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Judgment for employer.
- Representation of a global chemical company as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged unlawful retaliation in denied promotion. Judgment for employer.
- Representation of a large chemical refiner as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Judgment for employer.
- Representation of a major chemical company as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged race discrimination in denied promotion. Judgment for employer.
- Representation of major petrochemical companies in jury trials involving wrongful death and survival claims brought by plaintiffs who allegedly developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products at petrochemical and paper mill facilities.
- Successfully obtained numerous summary judgments exonerating major petrochemical clients in chemical exposure suits brought by contract workers.
- Representation of global chemical clients in asbestos-related claims and in negotiations with some of Louisiana’s most prominent plaintiffs’ law firms.
- Negotiation, litigation and settlement of hundreds of cases involving exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related products for some of Louisiana’s most prominent petrochemical companies.
- Representation of chemical industry clients in a variety of claims alleging hearing loss as a result of working in petrochemical facilities.
- Project local counsel for a $10 billion Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The facility will process 1.7 billion cubic feet per day. Kean Miller represented the owner in the transaction as Louisiana real estate counsel, Louisiana energy regulatory counsel, and Louisiana and federal environmental counsel
- Successfully obtained Title V, PSD, and LPDES permits for a $4 billion ethylene cracking and derivatives complex and an adjacent gas-to liquids complex in Calcasieu Parish. Kean Miller represented the owner as Louisiana real estate counsel, Louisiana and federal environmental counsel, Louisiana tax and environmental incentives counsel, Louisiana energy regulatory counsel, and Louisiana construction law counsel. Kean Miller acted as Louisiana counsel representing the client in connection with financing of the ethylene/derivatives complex.
State and Local Tax:
- Representation of the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) as tax counsel. The LCA represents Louisiana’s chemical industry at the Capitol and in connection with the activities of regulatory agencies.
White Collar Environmental Crime:
- Representation of a chemical manufacturer in a three-year criminal investigation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency concerning allegations of criminal violations of air, water, solid waste, and hazardous waste laws and regulations.
- Representation of a pesticide manufacturer in Northeast Louisiana in a criminal investigation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency concerning allegations of an illegal disposal of hazardous wastes.
- Representation of a major chemical company in response to an investigation and audit by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Representation of a major chemical company in avoiding indictment and in a case involving the spill of EDC into a major waterway and in the negotiation of a civil remedy.
- Representation of an international plastics company in workers compensation claims involving insurance coverage and statutory employer issues.
- Representation of other major chemical industry employers in a wide variety of workers compensation claims.