On February 3, 2021, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s ruling that granted a summary judgment motion finding plaintiffs failed to submit specific evidence of asbestos exposure necessary to create a genuine issue of material fact. Steib v. Lamorak Ins. Co., et al., 20-0424 (La. App. 4 Cir. 2/3/21).
In 2003, the Louisiana Supreme Court rendered its landmark decision in Corbello, et al. v. Iowa Production, et al. Since then, Louisiana courts have seen a steady stream of “legacy litigation” claims being filed. Legacy litigation claims generally concern alleged contamination arising from historic oil and gas operations under theories of both breach of
This blog post is the first in a series of blog posts that will discuss some of the nuances of Louisiana property law relating to solar leasing. With solar companies entering the Louisiana market, many of which having no prior experience in Louisiana, it is important to identify and avoid some pitfalls that may not be immediately obvious to the common-law practitioner.
Earlier this month, Gulf Coast Sequestration (“GCS”), a limited liability company based in Lake Charles, announced its plans to build and operate a carbon capture and sequestration (“CCS”) project that will create a repository 10,000 feet underground for the permanent storage of more than 80 million tons of carbon. Once completed, the GCS facility is expected to be the largest CCS project in the United States and one of the largest in the world, according to its press release.…
Continue Reading Advancement of CCS in Louisiana
On October 6, 2020, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted a writ application filed by UNOCAL in State of Louisiana, et al. v. Louisiana Land & Exploration Co., et al. This application sought review of the Louisiana Third Circuit’s decision that affirmed the Vermilion Parish School Board’s authority to sue on behalf of the state, rejected a prescription defense on the basis of prescription immunity under the Louisiana Constitution, and found that “environmental damage” as defined under Act 312 is sufficient to trigger a breach of contract claim. A detailed summary of the Third Circuit’s decision can be found here.…
Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Grants UNOCAL’s Writ Application from Third Circuit Decision Involving Prescription and Breach of Contract in Act 312 Case
On July 15, 2020, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion awarding damages for a violation of due process rights against a private pipeline company. Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC v. 38.00 Acres, More or Less, Located in St. Martin Parish, et al. (“Bayou Bridge”) centers around the construction of a crude oil pipeline from the Clifton Ridge terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana to a marketing hub in St. James, Louisiana. The 38 acres relevant to this lawsuit were in St. Martin Parish and were needed for construction of the pipeline. While Bayou Bridge Pipeline, LLC (“BBP”) identified approximately 470 heirs to the title of the property, it began construction on the Defendant Landowners’ (“Defendants” or “Landowners”) property in June 2018 prior to receiving servitude agreements from each person having ownership interest.…
Continue Reading Louisiana Third Circuit Decision Imposes Damages for Due Process Violation on Private Company
Commercial Lease Considerations in the Wake of Hurricane Laura
Following disasters such as Hurricane Laura, business owners have a variety of concerns when beginning the recovery process. Chief among those concerns: what to do when your place of business has been damaged or destroyed? If you lease your place of business, or if you lease out land or buildings to other people for their businesses, this concern becomes especially important when you consider the different parties with a potential interest in the recovery—the lessor (landlord), the lessor’s insurer, the lessor’s lender, the lessee (tenant), the lessee’s insurer, and the lessee’s lender. Being familiar with your lease agreement is the key to understanding the extent of your rights and responsibilities, especially as they pertain to repair obligations, obligations regarding the payment or reimbursement of insurance deductibles, insurance recovery, and rights to termination and reduction (abatement) of rent. As an initial matter, the first question you should ask yourself is: What kind of lease agreement do I have?…
Continue Reading Commercial Lease Considerations in the Wake of Hurricane Laura
One of the major outcomes of the 2020 Louisiana Legislative session was the passage of tort reform legislation that supporters argue will lower insurance rates and change the state’s notoriously litigious environment. The Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020, House Bill 57 (“HB57”) introduces a number of key changes:
- Allows jury trials if damages sought exceed $10,000 (the prior rule required $50,000 in damages);
- Revised the controversial “collateral source rule”;
- Repealed the limitation on presenting evidence of a plaintiff’s failure to wear a seat belt in a car accident; and
- Limits the discussion of a party’s insurance coverage before a jury except (with limited exceptions).
A special meeting of the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board was held on April 29, 2020, to address the impacts of both COVID-19 and historically low oil prices on operation and maintenance of Louisiana State Leases. The Board approved two proposed resolutions (1. Proposed Enforcement Moratorium Resolution 2. Proposed Penalty Waiver Resolution) that will assist State Lessees during these difficult times.…
Continue Reading Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board Approves Resolutions Providing Relief for State Lessees
Day-to-day life has been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and many businesses have been forced to close or limit their service to slow the spread of COVID-19. In response, Congress has passed several pieces of legislation to assist individuals and businesses affected by the virus.