A trial team led by Baker McKenzie and partner C. Thomas Kruse, along with co-counsel Baker Hostetler, represented the plaintiffs, Superior Energy Services Inc. and two subsidiaries Stabil Drill Specialties, L.L.C. and SESI, L.L.C., in a 6-week jury trial involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and civil conspiracy against defendants Christopher J. Russo and Martin A. LeBlanc, and additional corporations.

On December 5, 2018, the jury in the 295th District Court of Harris County, Texas returned a unanimous verdict that Russo and LeBlanc did not comply with their fiduciary duties to Stabil Drill. As a result of their lack of compliance, the jury found that Russo made nearly $27.8 million from transactions while LeBlanc made nearly $3.5 million.

The jury found that a total of $45 million — $30 million from Russo and $15 million from LeBlanc — would compensate Stabil Drill for the damages caused by their failure to comply with their fiduciary duties to Stabil Drill.

In addition, the jury found that Russo and LeBlanc committed fraud against Stabil Drill. The jury found that a total of $60 million — $40 million from Russo and $20 million from LeBlanc — would compensate Stabil Drill for the fraud damages. 

Russo and LeBlanc were also found to have misappropriated Stabil Drill’s trade secret pertaining to the design of a drill string vibrator. Another man, Scott Kerstetter, was also found to misappropriate the trade secret. The jury determined that $5.57 million would fairly compensate Stabil Drill for damages received as a result of that misappropriation.

The jury found that Russo was responsible for the conduct of various co-defendant companies owned or controlled by him. LeBlanc was also found responsible for the conduct of his co-defendant companies. 

The court accepted the jury verdict subject to post-trial motions and pending settlement credits.

Baker McKenzie’s team was led by partner  C. Thomas Kruse and included Larry Finder, Alexander Burch, Katie Zinecker, and Rick Taylor. Baker Hostetler was led by Matthew Caligur, Tom Donaho, Sushant Mohan, and George Boos.

Cause No. 2016-24818.  

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