Wyatt Energy v. Motiva Enterprises

On January 11, 2010, relying heavily on the testimony of Compass Lexecon expert Joseph Kalt, Connecticut Superior Court Judge J. Cremins issued a Memorandum of Decision in Wyatt Energy, Inc. v. Motiva Enterprises, LLC in favor of our client, Motiva. Wyatt had unilaterally terminated a contract by which it leased a petroleum products terminal in New Haven, Connecticut to Motiva. Motiva claimed the termination was a wrongful breach of the contract and that it was entitled to damages. Wyatt claimed the termination was justified by Motiva’s alleged violation of antitrust law. Plaintiff’s expert testified that Motiva had acquired monopoly power in the market for terminal services in Connecticut as a result of Motiva’s acquisition of a petroleum products terminal in New Haven from Cargill. Professor Kalt provided written and oral testimony at trial explaining that Wyatt’s expert had incorrectly defined the relevant market and had improperly ignored the various institutional arrangements that provide competitive discipline in the market. Professor Kalt concluded that Motiva’s acquisition of the Cargill terminal did not create market power. After citing extensively from Professor Kalt’s testimony, the Memorandum of Decision states: “With respect to the attempted monopolization claim, the court adopts Kalt’s testimony … and finds that Motiva’s acquisition of the Cargill terminal did not create a dangerous probability that Motiva would achieve market power in the relevant product and geographic market.” Professor Kalt was supported by Charles Augustine and a team in Compass Lexecon’s Boston office. Compass Lexecon was retained by Paul Sanson of Shipman & Goodwin LLP.