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Court Affirms Dismissal of One Coastal Louisiana Lawsuit

The U.S. Fifth Circuit District Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (SLFPA-E) lawsuit against oil and gas companies alleging damages to coastal land in Louisiana.

“This ruling is a step in the right direction, but we have many more miles to cover,” said Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA). “...[A] multitude of other coastal lawsuits are creating an unstable legal environment for the state and driving new oil and gas investments, jobs, and tax revenue into neighboring states. I applaud the court of appeals’ decision, and we will fight to see that similar coastal lawsuits follow the same course of action.”

In July 2013, the Board of Commissioners of SLFPA-E filed a lawsuit in Louisiana state court against 97 oil and gas companies. The lawsuit alleged that the companies’ activities had damaged coastal lands and that they also “increased the risk of flooding due to storm surges and necessitated costly flood protection measures.”

The district court concluded that on all of the claims, none of the stated grounds for relief constituted a claim under state law. The board of SLFPA-E then appealed. On Thursday the appeals court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the SLFPA-Eclaim.

“Our position remains validated by yet another court decision, further proving these allegations are baseless and without merit,” said Chris John, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has sought to consolidate multiple coastal parish lawsuits and get others to join the effort targeting energy companies. However, some parishes have said they would rather not, thanks.

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