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SEC Filings
S-3D
ENERGY TRANSFER OPERATING, L.P. filed this Form S-3D on 07/11/2017
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Limited Liability

Assuming that a limited partner does not participate in the control of our business within the meaning of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, or the Delaware Act, and that it otherwise acts in conformity with the provisions of our partnership agreement, the limited partner’s liability under the Delaware Act will be limited, subject to possible exceptions, to the amount of capital such limited partner is obligated to contribute to us for its common units plus such limited partner’s share of any undistributed profits and assets and any funds wrongfully distributed to it as described below. If it were determined, however, that the right, or exercise of the right, by our limited partners as a group to remove or replace our general partner, to approve certain amendments to our partnership agreement or to take any other action under our partnership agreement constituted “participation in the control” of our business for the purposes of the Delaware Act, then the limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the laws of Delaware, to the same extent as our general partner. This liability would extend to persons who transact business with us who reasonably believe that a limited partner is a general partner based on such limited partner’s conduct. Neither our partnership agreement nor the Delaware Act specifically provides for legal recourse against our general partner if a limited partner were to lose limited liability through any fault of our general partner. While this does not mean that a limited partner could not seek legal recourse, we know of no precedent for this type of a claim in Delaware case law.

Under the Delaware Act, a limited partnership may not make a distribution to a partner if, after the distribution, all liabilities of the limited partnership, other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and liabilities for which the recourse of creditors is limited to specific property of the limited partnership, would exceed the fair value of the assets of the limited partnership. For the purpose of determining the fair value of the assets of a limited partnership, the Delaware Act provides that the fair value of property subject to liability for which recourse of creditors is limited will be included in the assets of the limited partnership only to the extent that the fair value of that property exceeds the nonrecourse liability. The Delaware Act provides that a limited partner who receives a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution was in violation of the Delaware Act will be liable to the limited partnership for the amount of the distribution; provided, however, that such limited partner will have no liability for the amount of the distribution after the expiration of three years from the date of the distribution. Under the Delaware Act, an assignee who becomes a substituted limited partner of a limited partnership is liable for the obligations of its assignor to make contributions to the limited partnership, excluding any obligations of the assignor with respect to wrongful distributions, as described above, except the assignee is not obligated for liabilities unknown to it at the time it became a limited partner and that could not be ascertained from the partnership agreement.

Our subsidiaries conduct business in multiple states. Maintenance of our limited liability as a limited partner or member of our subsidiaries formed as limited partnerships or limited liability companies, respectively, may require compliance with legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which such subsidiaries conduct business, including qualifying our subsidiaries to do business there. Limitations on the liability of a limited partner or member for the obligations of a limited partnership or limited liability company, respectively, have not been clearly established in many jurisdictions. If it were determined that we were, by virtue of our limited partner interest or limited liability company interest in our subsidiaries or otherwise, conducting business in any state without compliance with the applicable limited partnership or limited liability company statute, or that the right or exercise of the right by our limited partners as a group to remove or replace our general partner, to approve certain amendments to our partnership agreement or to take other action under our partnership agreement constituted “participation in the control” of our business for purposes of the statutes of any relevant jurisdiction, then our limited partners could be held personally liable for our obligations under the law of that jurisdiction to the same extent as our general partner under the circumstances. We will operate in a manner that our general partner considers reasonable and necessary or appropriate to preserve the limited liability of the limited partners.

 

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