COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2012
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
NOTE 15 - COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
South Hampton, in 1977, guaranteed a $160,000 note payable of a limited partnership in which it has a 19% interest. Included in Accrued Liabilities at December 31, 2012 and 2011 is $66,570 related to this guaranty.
On October 24, 2010, the Company executed a limited guarantee in favor of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund ("SIDF") whereby the Company agreed to guaranty up to 41% of the SIDF loan to AMAK in the principal amount of 330,000,000 Saudi Riyals (US$88,000,000) (the "Loan"). The term of the loan is through June 2019. As a condition of the Loan, SIDF required all shareholders of AMAK to execute personal or corporate guarantees; as a result, the Company's guarantee is for approximately 135,300,000 Saudi Riyals (US$36,080,000). The loan was necessary to continue construction of the AMAK facilities and provide working capital needs. The Company's current assessment is that the probability of contingent performance was remote based on the Company's analysis of the contingent portion of the guarantee which included but was not limited to the following: (1) the SIDF has historically not called guarantees, (2) the value of the assets exceeds the amount of the loan (3) the other shareholders have indicated that they would prioritize their personal guarantees ahead of the corporate guarantee, and (4) according to Saudi Arabian legal counsel, assets outside of Saudi Arabia are protected from the Saudi Court System. The Company received no consideration in connection with extending the guarantee and did so to maintain and enhance the value of its investment. The Company's non-contingent and immediate obligation to stand ready to make payments if the events of default under the guarantee occur was not material to the financial statements.
On May 9, 2010, after numerous attempts to resolve certain issues with Mr. Hatem El Khalidi, the Board of Directors terminated the retirement agreement, options, retirement bonuses, and all outstanding directors' fees due to Mr. El Khalidi, former CEO, President and Director of the Company. In June 2010 Mr. El Khalidi filed suit against the Company in the labor courts of Saudi Arabia alleging additional compensation owed to him for holidays and overtime. In November 2011 the labor court determined that the Company owed Mr. El Khalidi $255,000 for holiday pay and dismissed the remainder of his claims. The Company and Mr. El Khalidi have appealed the decision to the next level. In September 2010 Mr. El Khalidi threatened suit against the Company in the U.S. alleging breach of contract under the above agreements and other claims. In late 2010 the Company filed suit against Mr. El Khalidi in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, seeking a declaratory judgment that all monies allegedly owed to Mr. El Khalidi are terminated (the "Federal Court Case"). On March 21, 2011, Mr. El Khalidi filed suit against the Company in the 14th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas for breach of contract and defamation (the "State Court Case"). On July 1, 2011, the Company and Mr. El Khalidi entered into an agreement to dismiss the Federal Court Case and transfer venue for the State Court Case to Hardin County, Texas. Pursuant to this agreement, the Federal Court Case was dismissed on July 13, 2011, and the State Court Case was transferred to Hardin County, Texas on July 15, 2011. There has been minimal activity in this matter since transfer to Hardin County, Texas. The Company believes that the claims are unsubstantiated and intends to vigorously defend the case. The liabilities owed to Mr. El Khalidi will remain recorded on the Company's books until the lawsuits are resolved.
The Company and its subsidiaries are involved in various claims and lawsuits incidental to their business.
On September 14, 2010, South Hampton received notice of a lawsuit filed in the 58th Judicial District Court of Jefferson County, Texas which was subsequently transferred to the 11th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. The suit alleges that the plaintiff became ill from exposure to asbestos. There are approximately 44 defendants named in the suit. South Hampton has placed its insurers on notice of the claim and plans to vigorously defend the case.
On April 14, 2011, and April 27, 2011, South Hampton received notice of three lawsuits filed in Jefferson County, Texas. The suits allege that the plaintiffs became ill from benzene exposure during the employment with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, an alleged customer of South Hampton. There are numerous defendants named in the suits. South Hampton has placed its insurers on notice of the claims and plans to vigorously defend the cases.
On May 3, 2012, South Hampton received notice of a lawsuit filed in Jefferson County, Texas. The suit alleges that a worker at the B.F. Goodrich facility in Orange, Texas, an alleged customer of South Hampton, became ill and subsequently died from benzene exposure. There are numerous defendants named in this lawsuit. On September 6, 2012, plaintiffs dismissed South Hampton without prejudice to re-filing again their complaint against the Company in return for South Hampton's agreement to enter into an agreement tolling any applicable statutes of limitation for two years from September 6, 2012, or conclusion of the remainder of the case, whichever is earlier. As South Hampton never sold products of any kind to the B.F. Goodrich facility in Orange, Texas, the Company believes that it will not incur any liability.
No accruals have been recorded for these claims.
Environmental Remediation -
In 2008 the Company learned of a claim by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") against World Hydrocarbons, Inc. for contamination of real property owned by the BLM north of and immediately adjacent to the processing mill situated on property owned by PEVM. The BLM's claim alleged that mine tailings from the processing mill containing lead and arsenic migrated onto BLM property during the first half of the twentieth century. World Hydrocarbons, Inc. responded to the BLM by stating that it does not own the mill and that PEVM is the owner and responsible party. PEVM subsequently commenced dialogue with the BLM in late 2008 to determine how best to remedy the situation. Communication with the BLM is continuing. PEVM has retained an environmental consultant to assist with the resolution of this matter and has accrued $350,000 for environmental remediation based on their estimates.
Amounts charged to expense for various activities related to environmental monitoring, compliance, and improvements were approximately $404,000 in 2012, $543,000 in 2011 and $449,000 in 2010.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef