Construction Company Goes to Trial for Unfair Competition Allegations

In what may be a devastating blow to one of the world’s largest companies servicing the oil and gas industries, a California Superior Court judge has ruled that a lawsuit against Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I) will proceed to trial in September 2013.

Filed in Los Angeles County, the complaint alleges that CB&I developed a scheme to land lucrative business by “creating a materially false impression of its safety record” in an attempt to prevail over competing companies in the bidding process. This scheme is alleged to have been perpetrated by directing supervisors and safety managers to monitor communications between injured employees and their doctors; by directing supervisors to influence the medication prescribed for the injured employees; by pressuring injured employees to request that their doctors release them to full duty despite the doctor’s diagnosis; and by pressuring injured employees to request that their doctors remove any work restrictions on the injured employee which would affect CB&I’s injury statistics.

Citing CB&I’s conduct as “very peculiar,” and finding triable issues of fact as to every cause of action alleged, Judge Kevin Brazille ordered the case to proceed to trial on the merits. The lawsuit includes thirteen additional causes of action, including fraud, invasion of privacy, and numerous violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. CB&I had attempted to seek dismissal of the case in its entirety, but failed to persuade the trial judge of its arguments at a hearing held on April 25, 2013.

Founded in 1889 and headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, CB&I is a large multinational
conglomerate engineering, procurement and construction company. CB&I provides conceptual design, technology, engineering, fabrication, and construction services to customers in the energy, petrochemical, and natural resource industries worldwide. Its long list of customers include CNOOC, Valero, Chevron, and SABIC. CB&I reports an annual revenue of over $5.4 billion, with total assets listed at $4.3 billion.

CB&I is a publicly-held company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CBI).

For further information or to request trial court records, contact Neil Pedersen or David Lewis at (949) 260-1181.