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In this consolidated appeal, Tubos de Acero de Mexico, S.A. (TAMSA) seeks reversal of the district court’s order granting summary judgment for George Sfeir (“Sfeir”) on its fraud and conversion claims against him personally. TAMSA also appeals the denial of its motion for summary judgment on American International Investment Corp., Inc.’s (“American”) unfair trade practices and trade secrets counterclaims. American cross-appeals the district court’s order granting summary judgment for TAMSA on its counterclaims for breach of contract and punitive damages. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the decision of the district court in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.


This case involves a commercial dispute between TAMSA and American and its vice president and chief executive officer, Sfeir, arising from a lease of ultrasonic testing pipe inspection equipment (“UT unit”). TAMSA is a Mexican corporation engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling steel pipe for various applications in the offshore petrochemical industry. As part of its quality control program, TAMSA uses UT units to test the manufactured pipe at its manufacturing plant in Veracruz, Mexico. American is a Louisiana corporation, with its principal place of business in Lafayette, Louisiana. American is an international marketing agent for Technical Industries, Inc. (“Technical”), a Houston-based company that designs and manufactures UT units. In this capacity, American performed the following functions for Technical: (1) international marketing; (2) ensuring Technical’s customers received its products; (3) guaranteeing customers’ payment to Technical; and (4) service and technical support for Technical’s UT units placed with customers. American does not design or manufacture any UT units, nor possess any patent or trademark protection as to such equipment.

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