In Less than Three Hours, Jury Rules Against Alcoa
Last Wednesday, June 2, a Milam County jury, in the 20th District Court in Cameron, after hearing closing arguments, took less than three hours to conclude in favor of Luminant on Alcoa’s claim of breach of contract. Not only did the jury deny Alcoa’s request for $500 million in damages, it ordered Alcoa to pay Luminant $10 million. The civil trial, which took three weeks, was of great interest to people in our area, who for many years worked at the Alcoa Rockdale plant.
The jury found that Luminant complied with its contract with Alcoa regarding energy costs and planned energy outages at the Rockdale plant. Alcoa had alleged that Luminant caused power outages during the spring and summer of 2008 and forced them to pay a higher contract price for power. Alcoa claimed this is why they had to close the Rockdale operations in late 2008.
The jurors, consisting of four men and eight women, also found Luminant could not be blamed for the eventual cost of the pollution control project. The contract between Alcoa and Luminant entitled Alcoa to power and obligated Alcoa to pay 83% of the cost of federally mandated stateof the-art selective catalytic reduction equipment at Sandow Unit 4, which would reduce emissions.
Alcoa claimed they had to close the Rockdale operation because of Luminant’s mismanagement of energy costs and pollution control, and the jury disagreed.
Barry Barnett, lead trial counsel for Luminant said following the trial, “We are grateful to the hardworking people of Luminant for their confidence and to the jurors for their dedication. The verdict is a testament to the integrity of our civil justice system and to the importance of keeping promises. It has been an honor to represent Luminant.”
Luminant CEO David Campbell said, “We are a company that cares deeply about our reputation and are dedicated to honoring our responsibilities and commitments.
am delighted the jury agreed with us.”