In a recent decision, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded to state court a case brought by landowners against the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) and several past and present owners and operators of an industrial facility (“Facility Defendants”), finding that LDEQ was not improperly joined, and therefore the case could

On September 14, 2022, the 19th Judicial District Court revoked air permits issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) under Louisiana’s Prevention and Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) regulations[1] for a Formosa Plastics facility (“FG LA”) planned to be built in St. James Parish.[2] The court ruled that LDEQ erred in issuing

In a recent opinion released by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the court declined to vacate a deficient environmental impact statement (“EIS”) prepared in connection with two offshore lease sales held in 2018, the records of decision announcing the sales, or the leases issued.

The court stated that

In Mary v. QEP Energy Company, the U.S. Fifth Circuit held that a landowner is not entitled to a pipeline company’s profits as a consequence of a portion of a pipeline being located partially outside of a servitude. The Fifth Circuit concluded that a landowner can only recover the additional profits earned by defendant

In an opinion that employers across the country have been eagerly anticipating, the United States Supreme Court today issued a per curiam opinion blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) rule that would have required roughly 80 million workers to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested weekly and wear masks to avoid being

On Friday, January 7, 2022, the Louisiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld a COVID-19 vaccine mandate program that the state’s largest private healthcare system implemented for its employees. Hayes, et al. v. University Health Shreveport, 21-01601 (La. 1/7/22). In doing so, the Court reaffirmed the employment-at-will doctrine, and its decision will likely be cited in

On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed the question of whether the 1962 U.S. Supreme Court holding in Vaughan v. Atkinson, 369 U.S. 527 (1962) requires courts hearing maintenance and cure cases to construe disputed medical evidence in the seaman’s favor. In Witbart v. Mandara Spa (Hawaii), LLC

On June 29, 2021, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, held that a natural gas company’s right to condemn property for a pipeline under the Natural Gas Act includes the right to condemn state-owned property. In PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey,[1] the divided Court held that a certificate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) entitled PennEast Pipeline Company (PennEast) to use the federal government’s power of eminent domain to seize property owned by the State of New Jersey.
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court Blocks New Jersey’s Sovereign Immunity Challenge to FERC Certificate Holder’s Condemnation of State-Owned Land

On June 30, 2021, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued an opinion redefining the nature of available damages and the “actual, statutorily permitted role of the jury in Act 312 remediation lawsuits.” The “LL&E II” decision finds that Act 312 charges the court, not the jury, to determine the funding needed to remediate property to government standards. If (and only if) an express contractual provision requires greater remediation than government standards, a jury may consider and award such “excess remediation” damages. State of Louisiana v. Louisiana Land and Exploration Co., 2020-00685 (La. 6/30/2021); — So. 3d — (“LL&E II”).[1]

Continue Reading Overturning 8 Years of “Palpable Error,” The Louisiana Supreme Court Limits Damages Available to Landowners in Oilfield Legacy Litigation

Updated from May 18, 2021 post.

On May 17, 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the climate change litigation affecting the fossil fuel industry. In a 7-1 decision (Justice Alito recused), the Court held that an appellate court must consider all grounds for removal when an appeal is taken pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d), a provision that specifically authorizes interlocutory appeal of an order remanding a case removed pursuant to the federal officer removal statute.
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court Issues First Decision in Climate Litigation