Porter Hedges Secures $160M+ Final Judgment for Founder of Downhole Technology


Porter Hedges has secured a $160 million judgment representing James Duke VanLue - a Houston inventor, entrepreneur, and founder/CEO of Downhole Technology, LLC (“Downhole”) - against Downhole and its Austrian-owned parent company, Schoeller Bleckmann America, Inc. (SBA).  The suit followed Downhole’s firing of VanLue as Downhole’s CEO and refusal to pay him for his share of the company.  

On May 10, 2021, Judge Caroline Baker entered Final Judgment in Downhole Technology, LLC, et al. v. James Duke VanLue, Civil Action No. 2018-47418, Harris County District Court, holding that Downhole breached fiduciary and contractual duties owed to Mr. VanLue, that Mr. VanLue prevailed on all his declaratory judgment and actual damage claims against Downhole and SBA, and awarding VanLue $143 million in actual damages, over $4 million in attorneys’ fees, and over $11 million in prejudgment interest. Judge Baker’s judgment follows a four-week bench trial that concluded in March 2020. 

This final judgment follows Judge Baker’s judgment entered on November 12, 2020 announced here.

A copy of the Court’s judgment is linked here.

Related Media Mentions:

"After Winning $143M for Terminated Ex-CEO, Houston Lawyers Seek $3.6M Fee," Texas Lawyer
"$143 million wrongful termination win comes too late for Downhole Tech founder," Houston Chronicle
"Porter Hedges Wins $143M Judgment for Downhole Tech Founder," The Texas Lawbook
"Wrongful termination win too late," Houston Chronicle