Schexnaydre Law Firm, LLC

U.S. Supreme Court Ends Lawsuit Against Louisiana Oil and Gas Companies

The United States Supreme Court recently put an end to a lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies in Louisiana. As we discussed in a previous post, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) initially sued the energy companies in an attempt to hold them financially responsible for loss of coastal wetlands.

Specifically, the flood authority claimed that dredging canals has damaged coastal lands that would otherwise protect New Orleans from hurricanes.

The lawsuit wound its way through the courts for several years.

TheĀ SLFPA-E initially sued the oil and gas industry in 2013. The suit was filed in New Orleans Civil District Court but was soon transferred to federal district court, where the lawsuit was dismissed. The SLFPA-E appealed that decision, but a panel of judges found that the flood authority's claims did not justify a financial claim against the energy companies.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently echoed that decision when it denied a hearing of the SLFPA-E's appeal, making the Appellate Court's ruling the final decision.

The oil and gas industry is still beset with legal challenges.

Energy companies have been increasingly targeted by litigation in recent years, particularly in Louisiana. Individual parishes have filed dozens of lawsuits that aim to hold the oil industry accountable for coastal land loss.

Part of the problem is the question of whether costly lawsuits are the best way to address environmental concerns, rather than using administrative processes that already exist. For more on that, please see our previous post, "Dozens of Lawsuits Target Louisiana Oil and Gas Producers."

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