Port, Chouest Pretrial Hearing Set

Friday, February 17, 2006
Attorneys in a dispute between the Port of Galveston and a Louisiana offshore industry company will meet Feb. 22 to set the stage for trial. In February 2005, the port filed a $91 million breach of contract lawsuit against Edison Chouest. The port claimed Edison Chouest reneged on a proposal signed in 2000 to construct an offshore energy industry service terminal on Pelican Island. Edison Chouest, which did not begin work on the proposed CPort Galveston terminal, asked the Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees, which oversees the port, in 2004 to get out of its agreement. The trial is set for July 10 before Judge David Garner in the 10th State District Court. At the Feb. 22 jurisdictional hearing, attorneys will present arguments, and Garner will rule on a key technical issue. The ruling will determine if four other co-defendants named in an amended petition by the port should be included in the suit. Thirteen other entities and individuals already are in the lawsuit, including Gary Chouest, president of Edison Chouest’s holding company and operating subsidiary. The port had sought to add 80 defendants to its lawsuit. In recent weeks that number has been whittled down to four- CPort LLC and CPort Two LLC, owners of CPort Galveston; Dionne Chouest, general counsel; and Dino Chouest, who signed the lease and development agreement with the port. The judge will rule if those four other entities are subject to jurisdiction in Texas and can be added to the lawsuit. (Source: Galveston County Daily News)

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