Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nelson v. Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington

May 13, 2019

LAURA NELSON PLAINTIFF
v.
COLUMBIA GAS TANSMISSION, LLC, ET AL DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          William O. Bertelsman, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on various post-trial motions. (Docs. 362, 365, 366, 379). The Court concludes that further oral argument is unnecessary for the resolution of these motions.

         Procedural Background

         This bitterly contested case arises out of a contract entered into by plaintiff and defendant Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (“Columbia Gas”), granting an easement for defendant to install a high-pressure gas transmission line through plaintiff's property.

         The contract is dated August 12, 2015 and required, inter alia, that Columbia Gas restore plaintiff's property “as near as practical” to its original condition after the completion of the construction. (Doc. 132-13).

         The actual laying of the line and the restoration was performed by Columbia Gas as well as by various subcontractors. One of these subcontractors was defendant Michels Corporation, which performed certain clearing work pursuant to a subcontract with Columbia Gas. Michels had no contract with plaintiff.

         After extensive pretrial proceedings, the case came on for a jury trial before this Court on December 3, 2018, resulting in a verdict on December 12, 2018. (Doc. 360). The jury found against Columbia on plaintiff's breach of contract claim and awarded her $50, 000 for economic damages and $150, 000 for serious emotional disturbance flowing from the breach of contract.

         The principal issue at trial was whether Columbia Gas had restored plaintiff's property “as near as practical” to its original condition and, if not, how much it would cost to do so. Plaintiff offered expert testimony that the restoration performed was insufficient because not enough topsoil was returned to the area in question, and the expert opined that it would require another $2 million to effect proper restoration.

         Prior to trial, the Court bifurcated plaintiff's negligence and trespass claims against Michels. Michels paid into Court the amount (as stated by plaintiff's counsel) of the compensatory damages that plaintiff claimed Michels owed her for improperly blowing woodchips onto plaintiff's property outside of the right-of-way. (Doc. 246).[1]

         In addition, the Court denied plaintiff's motion to file a fourth amended complaint, which sought to add a fraud claim against Columbia Gas and a prayer for punitive damages against Michels. (Docs. 200-2, 318).

         The motions now before the Court are: (1) plaintiff's renewed motion for injunctive relief (Doc. 362); (2) Columbia Gas's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the emotional distress damages and for a set off as to breach of contract verdict; (3) plaintiff's motion for new trial (Doc. 366); and (4) Michels' renewed motion for summary judgment (Doc. 379).

         The Court will address these motions seriatim.

         Analysis

         A. Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Injunctive Relief

         After the jury returned its verdict in this matter, plaintiff immediately filed a renewed motion for injunctive relief seeking specific performance against Columbia Gas. (Doc. 362). This motion is not well taken.

         The issue of the cost of restoration of plaintiff's property “as near as practical” was submitted to a jury in this matter, and the jury awarded plaintiff $50, 000. While plaintiff is disappointed with that figure, she may not invoke the alternative remedy of specific performance.

         This is not a case where specific performance is necessary because plaintiff cannot be made whole by money damages - for example, to enforce a contract for the purchase of a unique piece of property, as in a case upon which plaintiff relies. See BillyWilliams Builders and Developers ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.