News Release

Locke Lord Client Spitzer Industries Awarded $35.9 Million Judgment in Construction-Related Dispute

August 23, 2016

(HOUSTON) August 23, 2016 – Following a five-week long trial, Locke Lord client Spitzer Industries received a favorable judgment in a significant construction-related dispute. The total judgment for $35.9 million included actual damages of approximately $27 million.

The case arose out of the high-profile Marine Well Containment project to build modular capsule vessels capable of responding to well blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico. Spitzer Industries sought to recover damages attributed to Weatherford’s mismanagement of the project as the general contractor particularly in regards to late and deficient engineering. In the judgment of the case, Spitzer Industries, Inc. v. Weatherford U.S., L.P., the court found that Weatherford “caused scope growth, revisions and schedule delays … that effected a cardinal change to the Parties’ contract.”

“This outcome is huge for us,” said Spitzer Industries’ President David Kotzebue. “We always understood how important this project was to the offshore industry and were proud to be a part of it. We poured a tremendous amount of resources into making it a success and it is gratifying that we will now be fairly compensated for our efforts. The Locke Lord team understood our business and the problems we encountered from the start, paid attention to every detail, and was tenacious in clearly presenting the facts to the court to yield the impressive and right result.”

“Spitzer truly deserved this outcome,” said Derrick Carson, a Partner in Locke Lord’s Houston office who is Chair of the Firm’s Construction Law Practice Group and Deputy Chair of the Firm’s Energy Litigation Practice Group. “We appreciate that a finding of cardinal change is rare, but it was very much warranted here. And we are pleased that the court saw this project the same way that we did.”

The trial team was led by David Harrell and Derrick Carson and included Deanna Markowitz Willson, all of Locke Lord’s Houston office.

Locke Lord’s Construction Law Practice Group includes experienced construction lawyers who have a global perspective on construction and project development. Lawyers guide construction clients through all phases of development and construction to manage risk and are partners in building winning projects around the world. The team benefits from many years of courtroom and arbitration experience in construction disputes and has handled matters arising at every stage of the construction process.


About Locke Lord LLP
Locke Lord is a full-service, international law firm of more than 20 offices designed to meet clients’ needs around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 125 years and is a worldwide leader in the middle market sector. Locke Lord advises clients across a broad spectrum of industries including energy, financial services, fund formation, health care, insurance and reinsurance, private equity and venture capital, public finance, real estate, and technology, media and telecommunications, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory and transactional teams.