FORTUN~1 - FORTUNE PRODUCTION CO. v. CONOCO, INC., 52...

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FORTUNE PRODUCTION CO. v. CONOCO, INC., 52 S.W.3d 671 (Tex. 2000) FORTUNE PRODUCTION CO., Tucker Drilling Co., Inc., Curtis Hankamer Corp., and John L. Cox, Petitioners v. CONOCO, INC., Respondent. No. 99-0490. Supreme Court of Texas. Argued on February 9, 2000. Opinion Delivered: November 30, 2000. On Petitions for Review from the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas. Page 672 [EDITORS' NOTE: THIS PAGE CONTAINED HEADNOTES AND HEADNOTES ARE NOT AN OFFICIAL PRODUCT OF THE COURT, THEREFORE THEY ARE NOT DISPLAYED.] Page 673 William J. Joseph, Jr., Candace Beth Kais Eindorf, Gallagher Young F. Eric Fryar, Etta Davidson Fryar, Fryar, Fryar, Randall W. Wilson, respondent. Justice Owen delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Phillips, Justice Hecht, Justice Baker, Justice Abbott, Justice Hankinson, Justice O'Neill and Justice Gonzales joined, and in Parts I, II, III and V of which Justice Enoch joined. Justice Enoch filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. This is a dispute between natural gas producers and their purchaser. The producers contend, and a jury found, that (1) their contracts> were induced by the purchaser's fraud regarding the resale price it would receive for residue gas, and (2) the purchaser was unjustly enriched by
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failing to account to the producers for field liquids. The jury also found with regard to the fraud claims that the producers had ratified their <contracts> by continuing to accept benefits after they had full knowledge of the fraud, with the intent to ratify the <contracts> in spite of the fraud. The trial court rendered judgment for the producers only on their unjust enrichment claims. All parties appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment. We hold that (1) only some of the producers' claims for fraud damages are foreclosed, (2) the evidence is legally insufficient to support the total amount of fraud damages found by the jury, and (3) written <contracts> covering the subject matter of some of the plaintiffs' unjust enrichment claims preclude those claims. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court of appeals in part and remand this case to the trial court. I Four natural gas producers, Fortune Production Co., Tucker Drilling Co., Inc., Curtis Hankamer Corp., and John L. Cox, brought this suit against Conoco Inc. Conoco purchased gas from these producers for several years and processed most of the gas through plants it owned and operated to extract liquid hydrocarbons. The dispute is over the prices Conoco paid the plaintiffs from 1990 to 1995. There are two distinct aspects of this dispute. One focuses on the plaintiffs' claims that they were defrauded into accepting a lower price for residue gas, which was gas
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FORTUN~1 - FORTUNE PRODUCTION CO. v. CONOCO, INC., 52...

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