Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

Louisiana flood authority asks Supreme Court to hear oil and gas lawsuit

After losing in lower federal courts, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit that seeks to hold oil, gas and pipeline companies financially responsible for damage to coastal wetlands.

The lawsuit targets more than 90 energy companies, including Exxon Mobile Corp., Chevron and subsidiaries of BP.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2013, later to be struck down three times in court.

The flood authority's primary claim is that oil and gas companies' dredging of canals in coastal areas has resulted in loss of wetlands that buffer New Orleans from hurricanes.

However, in 2015, a federal district judge ruled that the flood authority did not have a legal avenue to bring the suit on the state or federal level. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals echoed that decision when a three-judge panel upheld the ruling in March. The following month, the full 15-member court denied a rehearing of the case.

Given the lower courts' rulings, oil and gas industry supporters doubt the U.S. Supreme Court will revive the lawsuit.

Referring to the case, the president of the Louisiana Midcontinent Oil and Gas Association had this to say: "I certainly hope and suspect that the Supreme Court won't hear it, or if they do, they will come to the same conclusion as the lower courts."

Professionals in the energy industry will undoubtedly want to follow up on the outcome of the case.

For more on legal issues relevant to the oil and gas industry, please see Schexnaydre Law Firm's blog archives.

Our attorneys advise and represent oil and gas companies, producers, operators and landowners.

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