25025 N. I-45
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Richard Simses focuses his practice primarily on litigation in admiralty, products liability, employment, environmental, commercial, and toxic torts. He has tried several lawsuits to conclusion in each of these various areas of law in several states. In addition to his trial practice, Richard has handled numerous appellate arguments for clients in both state and federal appellate courts.
Representative Experience In a class action, defended an oil company against claims of damages resulting from an oil spill in Louisiana and the subsequent remediation. The trial court denied certification and a Louisiana appellate court upheld the trial court’s denial of class certification. Plaintiffs dismissed their claims.
- Defended a service company that leased property in conjunction with cleanup of an oil and gas drilling operation against a premise owner’s claim of property damage for naturally occurring radioactive waste.
- Represented a pipeline company in a maritime limitations action related to damages caused to a pipeline when a mobile offshore drilling unit sank in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Defended an oil and gas exploration company against wrongful death claims when a subcontractor’s sixteen-year-old worker died during onshore refurbishment of an offshore platform. A first Harris County, Texas jury did not reach a verdict, but a second Harris County jury rendered a defense verdict. Because the client had no responsibility for the worker’s death, the Louisiana Anti-Indemnity Oil Field Act did not protect the subcontractor, and the client recovered all attorney fees and defense costs pursuant to an indemnity agreement.
- In the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, defended an oilfield services company in an appeal of a jury verdict awarding damages for wrongful death that occurred when a valve malfunctioned on an offshore oil and gas platform. Successfully obtained a new trial based on the trial judge’s improper comments on the evidence. The company settled on favorable terms after the appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial.
- In a maritime personal injury case, successfully appealed an unfavorable jury verdict, which resulted in a favorable settlement in exchange for not opposing a motion to withdraw the appellate decision. This case is reported at Westerngeco Resources, Inc. v. Burch, 317 S.W.2d 555 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.).
- Represented an oilfield services company in a breach of contract case, when its supplier provided defective equipment related to a subsea manifold that was installed on a floating production platform. This matter successfully resolved on the eve of trial with the supplier paying our client several million dollars.
- Resolved, pre-litigation, a claim for damages for a chemical facility on the Houston Ship Channel, which was damaged when a passing vessel or a moored vessel caused damage to a dock and a loading facility.
- Represented an oilfield services company against a personal injury claim brought by a worker who was seriously injured when an uncontrolled pressure release occurred. The case settled after mediation on substantially favorable terms to the client.
- Defended an oil company in an employment discrimination suit filed by a former employee after she was released during a reduction in work force. The court granted a take-nothing judgment in the client’s favor and the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment.
- In a breach of contract case, represented an oilfield service company when a company failed to pay for high pressure flow line products and inspection services claiming the flow line products were defective. The case was settled for more than 95% of the outstanding balance.
- Defended a chemical company and a trucking company in a class action against personal injury and property damage claims that occurred when a tanker truck leaked chemical wastes along a roadway. A Louisiana trial court certified the class, and the case settled on favorable terms after 2 weeks of a bellwether trial.
- Defended an environmental remediation company in a mass tort case related to an injection well site in Louisiana. This case involved 1,000s of plaintiffs and 100s of defendants and was favorably settled as a class action.
- In a breach of contract case, represented a multinational chemical company that sold nitrous oxide pollution credits. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Quality recognized the validity of nitrous oxide credits for years, but refused to approve the sale rendering performance of the contract impracticable. After prevailing at trial, the appellate court clarified the rules regarding impracticability of performance. The case is reported at Tractebel Energy Mktg., Inc. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 118 S.W.3d 60 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied) and Tractebel Energy Marketing, Inc. v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 118 S.W.3d 929 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied). This case settled on favorable terms after the appeal.
- Defended a trucking company in a property damage case where they were sued when their truck overturned and released diesel fuel. The result was a negotiated settlement for substantially less than expected.
- Defended an international chemical company who was sued along with numerous other defendants in a number of cases in Jefferson County, Texas all alleging chemical exposure from synthetic rubber facilities in Port Arthur, Texas. Successfully removed the cases to federal court based on federal officer’s jurisdiction. After the federal court denied plaintiffs’ motion to remand the cases back to state court, convinced counsel for plaintiffs to dismiss client from all of the suits in exchange for an agreement not to oppose an amended motion to remand.
- Defended a food service technology company in a product liability case involving an employee’s personal injuries allegedly incurred during cleaning of an industrial oven. This case resolved on beneficial terms after mediation.
- Defended a multinational chemical company against allegations from orchard owners that a fungicide damaged crops as a part of a trial team in a three-month jury trial in Eagle Pass, Texas. The trial court overturned its judgment for the orchard growers after we gathered evidence showing that jury tampering occurred. After the trial court’s ruling on post-trial motions the case successfully resolved.
- Drafted and negotiated a wide variety of complex contracts, including such things as master services agreements, requests for proposals, scope of services agreements, sales and services agreements, settlement and release agreements, and various other contracts as requested. Obtained defense verdict for multinational company in a partnership dispute involving allegations of fraud and other wrongdoing.
- Summary judgment granted in wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of employer for employee’s death sustained on or about an offshore platform.
- Defended an oil and gas company in a class action against claims of personal injury and property damages resulting from chemical contamination of groundwater migrating from beneath chemical complex to neighboring residential community.
- Defended same oil and gas company in subsequent lawsuit against the then current owner of chemical complex for its share of responsibility for migrating chemical contamination of groundwater.
- Defended oil and gas operator in multiple disputes concerning environmental contamination or pollution of landowner property in so-called “legacy lawsuits.”
- Resolved catastrophic personal injury lawsuits involving multinational oil and gas service company’s flow line products used in high-pressure fracing operations.
- Defended manufacturer of bulk material handling components successfully resolving property damage claim relating to a fire consuming a port bulk-material ship loader.
- Defended a multinational chemical company against allegations from orchard owners that a fungicide damaged crops. Cited Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision, Yazdchi v. Am. Honda Fin. Corp., 217 Fed. Appx. 299 (5th Cir. Tex. 2007)(agreement with proposition pro se litigants are not exempted from compliance with procedural rules and substantive law).
- Defended oil and gas service company in successful bankruptcy preference action.
- Drafted and negotiated broad range of complex contracts and other agreements, for example master services agreements, purchase order terms and conditions, company policies and procedures, company agreements, easements/servitudes of passage, earnest money contracts, deeds, promissory notes, leases, indemnity agreements, and compromise, settlement and release agreements.
- Loyola University College of Law
- Loyola Law Review
- Fairfield University
B.S., Political Science, 1978
- Fairfield University
- Allied World Assurance Company
- FMC Technologies, Inc.
- John Bean Technologies Corporation
- The Sun Products Corporation
- Swiss Re
- Texas Heat Treating, Inc.
Professional & Community Involvement
- State Bar of Texas
- State Bar of Louisiana
- State Bar of Colorado
- Maritime Law Association
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Pro Bono cases for the Montgomery County Women’s Center
Awards & Recognition
- Rated AV Preeminent, Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Martindale Hubbell
Admitted to Practice
- Texas – 1991
- Louisiana – 1981
- Colorado – 2007
- U.S. District Courts (All District Courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado)
- U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Ninth, and Federal Courts
- U.S. Supreme Court