As it “is impossible to transfer rights to an assignee under an expired mineral lease,” in a case where oil, gas and mineral leases had expired prior to plaintiff’s acquisition of the property, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Litel Explorations, L.L.C. v. Aegis Development Company, L.L.C., et al. affirmed dismissal of claims pursuant to the subsequent purchaser doctrine, which provides that the right to sue for property damage is a personal right that belongs to the landowner who owned the property at the time the damage occurred, unless the right has been explicitly assigned or subrogated to the subsequent purchaser of the land.
Continue Reading Louisiana Third Circuit Confirms Settled Application of Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine Where Expired Mineral Leases at Issue

In a straightforward application of Louisiana’s prescriptive principles, the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit affirmed the trial court’s grant of exceptions of prescription, finding plaintiff’s claims for fraud, under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA), and for unpaid royalties all prescribed in Karen May v. The Succession of Mayo Romero
Continue Reading Louisiana Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Royalty and Other Claims Based Upon Prescription

In Luv n’ care, Ltd. v. Jackel International Ltd., No. 2019-C-00749, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs to address the res nova issue of whether the “punishment for contempt of court” statute, La. R.S. 13:4611, authorizes the imposition of attorney fees against a party not adjudged guilty of contempt.  In the district court, Plaintiff, Luv n’ care, Ltd. (“LNC”), brought a contempt proceeding against defendants, Jackel International Ltd., et al. (“Jackel”), for allegedly violating a permanent injunction previously entered in LNC’s favor.  While LNC was unsuccessful on its motion for contempt, the district court not only denied the motion, but also awarded a substantial attorney fee award to Jackel as the “prevailing party in a contempt proceeding” based on the recently amended language of La. R.S. 13:4611(1)(g).


Continue Reading Louisiana Supreme Court Addresses Res Nova Attorney Fees Issue

In a case sure to be used as a sword by many defendants in the prevalent NORM (naturally occurring radioactive material) litigation in Louisiana and elsewhere, Patricia Lennie, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal concluded that plaintiffs’ survival and wrongful death actions were prescribed when plaintiffs brought suit almost four years after the diagnosis of cancer and subsequent death of their husband/father and failed to inquire as to the cause of illness and death.  In doing so, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the survival and wrongful death claims of plaintiffs on an exception of prescription.
Continue Reading Louisiana Fifth Circuit Weighs in on Proper Application of Prescription and Contra Non in NORM Litigation

In Chauvin v. Shell Oil Company, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment to defendants on Plaintiffs’ trespass action.  In doing so, the Fifth Circuit made clear that to succeed on a trespass claim when the contracts at issue are ambiguous, parole evidence from the plaintiffs’ experts and the plaintiffs themselves should be consistent with ownership.
Continue Reading (Plaintiffs Claiming) Trespass Beware

A July 3, 2017 ruling from the 17th Judicial District establishes that a mineral servitude owner’s obligation under Mineral Code article 22 “to restore the surface to its original condition” means the condition of the property at the creation of the servitude—and not the property’s pristine, pre-operation condition.  The court’s commonsense ruling in Sterling Sugars v. Amerada Hess Corporation, No. 100091 (17th JDC) appears to be the first time a state court has directly interpreted the meaning of the phrase “original condition” in the Article 22 context.
Continue Reading Trial Court Rules that Article 22’s “Original Condition” Refers to Property’s Condition at the Creation of a Mineral Servitude

In Justiss Oil Company, Inc. v. Oil Country Tubular Corp., et al, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal joined its sister circuit –the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, in finding that La. Civ. Code art. 2323 applies only to actions sounding in tort – not to actions in contract, such as redhibition.  In doing so, the Third Circuit created an issue ripe for Louisiana Supreme Court decision.
Continue Reading Casing Controversy: Does the Comparative Fault Codal Article Cover Contract Claims?

Sophisticated plaintiffs beware.  In Bayou Fleet, Inc. v. Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., et al., the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal concluded that contra non valentem, a judicially created exception to prescription, did not apply to prevent the running of prescription on a claim for wrongful conversion when the plaintiff company, the owner of a destroyed crane boom, was run by sophisticated businessmen who failed to check up on a more-than-a-million dollar asset more than once a year.
Continue Reading Contra Non Not Applicable: Louisiana Appellate Court Refuses to Find Exception to Running of Prescription

The Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, in Middleton, et al. v. EP Energy E&P Company, L.P., et al., concluded that, in considering whether mineral leases terminated for failure to produce in paying quantities, a fact finder may consider periods of production years prior to filing suit, but must consider all factors which would influence