Ruling Could Bring Trials Against Oil Majors Over Louisiana Wetlands Damage

"A federal appeals court in New Orleans on Monday ordered a nine-year-old lawsuit filed against oil and gas companies over damage to Louisiana's wetlands to be returned to state court for trial, potentially clearing the way for at least 41 similar suits -- alleging billions of dollars in damages -- to also move forward.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a January decision by the late U.S. District Judge Martin L.C.. Feldman of New Orleans. It returns the suit filed by Plaquemines Parish against Chevron USA, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips Co., BP America, and Shell to the 25th Judicial District Court in Plaquemines Parish.

The panel ruled that Feldman correctly found that just because oil and gas exploration and production operations occurring during World War II were conducted on behalf of the war effort, the companies were not acting under the orders of federal agents in a way that would require the suit to be heard in federal court."

Mark Schleifstein reports for October 17, 2022.

Source:, 10/18/2022