California law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has brought a lawsuit against Limetree Bay Ventures for unpaid legal fees totaling nearly $2.8 million. The firm claims that it was hired in early 2020 to represent the oil industry giant in regard to equity and debt counseling.
Brought to court on August 16 in the Dallas County District Court in Texas, Limetree Bay never paid these fees and continues to hold out on its compensation to the firm.
Limetree Bay Ventures was an ownership company formed to oversee the St. Croix refinery in the United States Virgin Islands as well as manage the territory’s marine terminal and oil storage facility.
The refinery has come under scrutiny following an event on July 21, 2021, where the refinery reportedly sprayed oil on neighboring homes and faced a six-day shutdown by the Environmental Protection Agency. Eventually, the refinery filed for bankruptcy, and Limetree Bay Ventures was set to be dissolved.
Because of that incident, Limetree Bay Ventures faces another lawsuit, this time a class-action case from residents of St. Croix affected by the oil sprays. They claim that their properties were further damaged by toxic flares from the refinery when it attempted to restart operations in 2021.
In May of 2023, District Court Judge Wilma Lewis mandated that Limetree Bay would have to provide water to the victims of the oil sprays, further outlining in June that this demand would include 34 more neighborhoods.
Limetree Bay, now rebranded as Ocean Point Terminals, appealed the order and is currently set to appeal further in the US Third District Court Of Appeals.
As St. Croix residents continue their lawsuit against the corporation, questions arise as to whether Limetree Bay will be forced to pay back the residents affected by the oil sprays and whether the company as a whole will be able to continue its operation in the US Virgin Islands.