Texas Justices Reverse $11M Judgment Against Southwestern

By Michelle Casady (June 10, 2016, 2:43 PM EDT) -- The Texas Supreme Court on Friday reversed a lower appellate court's ruling that Southwestern Energy Production Co. must pay $11.4 million to two researchers for allegedly drilling in confidential "sweet spots" they had identified, finding that there wasn't enough evidence to support the award, and ordered a new trial.

Southwestern argued that geological researchers Toby Berry-Helfand and Gery Muncey relied on faulty expert testimony to support their bid for royalties on wells that Southwestern drilled around the at-issue sites in East Texas.

In 2010, the researchers won an $11.4 million verdict for trade secret misappropriation, and a trial judge awarded another...

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