January 31, 2020

Nearly $118 million bankruptcy case earns the top spot on the top plaintiffs’ verdicts list


A legal team from Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli has earned a spot on Missouri Lawyers Media’s 2020 Verdicts & Settlements Awards, claiming the No. 1 position on the Top Plaintiffs’ Verdicts list.

Polsinelli Shareholders Todd Bartels and Robert Spake Jr. and Associate E. Benton Keatley of the firm’s Kansas City, Mo. office, were honored for their work on Enslein, Trustee for Xurex Inc. v. Di Mase. The trio was formally recognized earlier this month during the annual Missouri Lawyers Awards luncheon in St. Louis, Mo.

“This was a highly complex case and trial in which we were most pleased with the favorable outcome we were able to secure on behalf of our client,” said Bartels, who served as the lead attorney from Polsinelli. “I am proud of our legal team for their tireless efforts to prepare for and manage a successful trial. This recognition from Missouri Lawyers Media is a nice way to close one of our largest matters of 2019.”

Each year, Missouri Lawyers Media tracks hundreds of verdicts, settlements, judgments and arbitration awards from around the state and beyond to determine the biggest civil victories in Missouri courts. Enslein, Trustee for Xurex Inc. v. Di Mase topped the plaintiffs’ verdicts category with $117.9 million in jury verdicts. Polsinelli’s team of trial attorneys represented the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee for the Estate of Xurex, Inc., a manufacturer of chemicals used to coat pipe in the oil and gas industry.

In the case, Xurex Inc. was forced into bankruptcy after being taken over by an Italian businessman, Mr. Jose di Mase. The case stemmed from Mr. Di Mase’s purchase of Xurex’s sole customer, DuraSeal Pipe Coatings Company, which held an exclusive license to use Xurex’s products in exchange for agreeing to make monthly minimum purchases of Xurex’s products.

Mr. Di Mase also initially purchased 40 percent of Xurex, Inc. The Chapter 7 Trustee alleged that following a failed bid to purchase the remaining shares of Xurex, Mr. Di Mase placed insiders on the Xurex Board of Directors, who then took steps to amend the exclusive license agreement between DuraSeal Pipe and Xurex to enable DuraSeal Pipe to manufacture Xurex’s products, and then placed Xurex into bankruptcy.

The two-week trial resulted in the U.S. District Court for the West District of Missouri issuing jury verdicts of $93 million and $24 million in favor of the Chapter 7 Trustee for the Estate of Xurex, Inc.

The Polsinelli legal team represented the firm’s Real Estate & Financial Services Department (Bartels and Keatley) and Litigation Department (Spake), providing a cross-departmental approach to the matter.  

About Polsinelli

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with 900 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, the firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation. Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California.