Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to affirm the constitutionality of a law passed by the legislature with the intent of blocking a mega-lawsuit against oil and gas companies for damage to the state's coastal wetlands. The lawsuit was filed by the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East in state district court in Orleans Parish in 2013 and alleges that pipeline/energy companies harmed coastal lands with activities tied to hundreds of wells and pipelines (see Daily GPI, July 25, 2013). The more than 80 defendant companies were later successful in having the case moved to federal court in New Orleans. A handful of companies have been removed from the lawsuit. Lawmakers last year adopted Act 544 with the intent of blocking the lawsuit. However, last fall 19th Judicial Court Judge Janice Clark ruled that SLFPA-E is not a state agency or a local government, and therefore is not subject to the provisions of Act 544 (see Daily GPI, Oct. 7, 2014). And then last December, Clark ruled that Act 544 is unconstitutional. That ruling has now been appealed by the governor's office to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
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