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Keith Nicholson Services, LLC v. American Petroleum Partners Operating, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Wheeling

September 20, 2019

KEITH NICHOLSON SERVICES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERICAN PETROLEUM PARTNERS OPERATING, LLC; ALPHA INTEGRITY MANAGEMENT, LLC; APP MIDSTREAM, LLC; LESLIE B. SCHABER, LORI D. SCHABER; ROSEMARY M. BROWN; and ATLANTIC CONSTRUCTION FABRICS, INC., Defendants. AMERICAN PETROLEUM PARTNERS OPERATING, LLC and APP MIDSTREAM, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
KEITH NICHOLSON SERVICES, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE AND MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE AND SEVERING CLAIMS

          JOHN PRESTON BAILEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before this Court in Civil Action No. 5:19-CV-205 is the Motion to Transfer Venue Or, in the Alternative, to Dismiss Defendants, American Petroleum Partners Operating, LLC, App Midstream, LLC and Rosemary M. Brown [Doc. 28]. Pending in both of the above cases is a Motion to Consolidate filed by Keith Nicholson Services, LLC (“Nicholson”) [Doc. 33 in 5:19-CV-205; Doc. 4 in 5:19-CV-251]. Both Motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for decision.

         On June 25, 2019, Nicholson filed a Complaint in this Court against defendants and Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (“Chevron”), Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C. (“Chesapeake”), Company Wrench, LTD. (“Company Wrench”), Atlantic Construction Fabrics, Inc., Alpha Integrity Management, LLC, Leslie B. Schaber and Lori D. Schaber. [Doc. 1, 5:19-CV-205]. To date, Chesapeake, Chevron, and Company Wrench have been dismissed pursuant to Stipulations of Dismissal filed July 18, 2019, July 25, 2019, and August 06, 2019, respectively. [Docs. 20, 23 & 27, 5:19-CV-205].

         The above-referenced Complaint asserts five causes of action:

Count I: Breach of Contract;
Count II: Account Stated and Open Account;
Count III: Unjust Enrichment and Quantum Meruit;
Count IV: Fraud and/or Promissory Estoppel;
Count V: Foreclosure of Mechanic’s Lien.

         Counts I – IV are directed solely at APP Petroleum Partners Operating, LLC (“APP Operating”), while Count V charges all the defendants. All of the defendants other than APP Operating appear to have only been added for the purpose of foreclosing two mechanic’s liens that Nicholson filed in the Circuit Court of Marshall County, West Virginia.

         Each of Nicholson’s claims arise from a Master Services Contract dated July 13, 2018 (“MSC”), wherein the Nicholson and Defendant APP Operating s et for t h ter ms under which Nicholson would perform certain construction services on an oil and gas drilling pad (“Casterly Rock Well Pad”) for APP Operating. It is undisputed that Nicholson and APP Operating entered into an express written contract, the MSC, to govern the rights and obligations of the parties related to construction on the Casterly Rock Well Pad.

         Nicholson alleges that pursuant to the MSC and at APP Operating’s request, it bid for certain labor, services and materials in connection with the Casterly Rock Well Pad construction project and that its bid was ultimately accepted by APP Operating. Nicholson further alleges that upon acceptance of the bid, it promptly began providing the services contemplated by the MSC and the bid. Then, APP Operating allegedly failed to pay invoices due Plaintiff related to the Casterly Rock Well Pad construction project in breach of the MSC.

         However, the MSC contains certain express provisions that dictate where and how contractual disputes must be resolved. ...


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