Houston – Thompson & Knight LLP recently secured a jury verdict in favor of the Firm’s clients, Cynthia and Richard Ridgeway, in the matter of Frontier Tubular Solutions, Inc. v. Richard Ridgeway and Cynthia Ridgeway, 281st District Court – Harris County, Texas.
“We’re thankful for the service of the jury and the court, and that the jury could see that the changes in the business after the sale were the result of a decline in the oil and gas markets and not any fault of the Ridgeways,” said Hunter Barrow, lead trial lawyer for the Ridgeways.
On August 14, 2014, Cynthia and Richard Ridgeway (“the Ridgeways”) sold three oilfield service companies they had owned for more than thirty years to Frontier Tubular Solutions (“Frontier”) for $5.5 million. The plaintiff, Frontier, alleged that the Ridgeways committed fraud and breached the share purchase agreement by failing to disclose and by misrepresenting a host of issues with the companies, including a material adverse change and a significant decline in business prior to the sale. Frontier sought a rescission of the full $5.5 million purchase price and, alternatively, $2.6 million in damages. While the Ridgeways agreed to certain working capital adjustments, they denied any other liability and alleged counterclaims that Frontier breached the share purchase agreement by instructing the escrow agent not to release $550,000 held in escrow and by failing to deliver pipe to the Ridgeways that was part of a side agreement between the parties.
While the trial lasted two weeks, on February 16, 2017, it took the jury less than three hours of deliberation to find in favor of the Ridgeways on their counterclaims and to award them the full $550,000. The jury further found that the Ridgeways only owed approximately $129,000 in post-closing adjustments and denied Frontier its fraud claim and material adverse change claim, as well as the other relief it sought. After a post-verdict settlement between the parties, the Court dismissed the case on September 28, 2017 by agreement.
“We are deeply appreciative of the members of the jury for their attentiveness and service,” said Richard Ridgeway. “Words are inadequate to express our thankfulness that the truth prevailed in this matter.”
The Ridgeways were represented at trial by Thompson & Knight Trial Partner Hunter M. Barrow and Appellate Partner Melissa M. Davis. Trial Partner Jonathan B. Shoebotham also assisted with pretrial matters.