Tulsa judge rules against Transco in pipeline lawsuit

A Tulsa federal judge has ruled a Michigan welding company does have a right to a jury trial to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Williams Partners company Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line even though the work contract included a trial waiver.

U.S. District Court Judge Claire V. Eagan made her ruling in a suit brought by Transco against the Michigan-based Kibby Welding company. Kibby had won a more than $4 million contract to do pipeline work in Virginia but Transco sued in 2018 because Kibby had filed to submit a performance and payment bond.

Kibby ended up with $2.8 million in work liens filed against it by other firms and Kibby filed $4.4 million in liens against Transco. Kibby maintained it should have the right to a jury trial even though its work contract, signed without the presence of a lawyer included a waiver of any right to such a trial.

The company claimed the waiver was buried in the contract and Judge Eagan stated in her ruling, ” It appears that Kibby was negligent in failing to fully review the contract before executing it, but the record does not support a finding that Kibby knowingly and voluntarily waived its right to a jury trial.”

Click here to read the ruling.