Practice Focus

Class Actions/Mass Actions/MDLs, Construction, Environmental

Paul Thibodeaux is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Section. Clients trust Paul to provide solutions to complex commercial problems and produce results. With a background in civil engineering, and as a registered patent attorney, Paul is a trial lawyer that handles environmental, energy and construction law; products liability; mass tort and class action litigation; and intellectual property matters for both plaintiffs and defendants.

For nearly 20 years, Paul has thrived in some of the most complex commercial litigations in the country. He has successfully taken a lead role in many high-profile matters such as the Hard Rock Hotel collapse; the Napoleonville sinkhole litigation; BP oil spill multi-district litigation; and the Hurricane Katrina-related Murphy oil spill class action litigation. Recently, Paul successfully represented a landowner in litigation to require a large oil company to plug and abandon wells and decommission an abandoned oil field.

Paul has also tried numerous judge and jury trials involving complex engineering-related issues, including multimillion-dollar verdicts in favor of plaintiffs involving the misappropriation of proprietary information and the installation of defective products on an oil production spar. Additionally, he has handled multiple environmental cases regarding refinery explosions and emissions, including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act claims.

Originally from DeRidder, La., Paul went to engineering school at LSU and law school at Tulane. He now lives in New Orleans with his wife and two children.


  • J.D. from Tulane University Law School, 2004
  • B.S. in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University, 2000

Publications / Presentations

  • Co-author, “The Safe Drilling Margin: Lessons Learned from the Macondo Blowout,” LOGA Industry Report (Summer 2015)
  • Co-author, “BP Oil Spill Lessons Learned,” Energy Executive (Spring 2015)
  • Co-author, “Supreme Court’s CAFA Decision Changes Law in Fifth Circuit,” American Bar Association’s Pretrial Practice & Discovery (June 2014)
  • “IvenTank: Five Steps for Inventing and Licensing,” New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (March 2014)

Representative Matters

  • Represented a manufacturer in a three-week trial involving a massive sinkhole that formed above a salt-mining cavern near Napoleonville, La., which resulted in a favorable liability allocation.
  • Represented an international driller in a four month trial involving one of our nation’s largest environmental disasters, in which thousands of plaintiffs, federal, state and local governments were seeking damages under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act, with the result that the driller was found not grossly negligent under the Clean Water Act, and that the operator of the well was obligated to indemnify the driller for all Oil Pollution Act Damages in the Deepwater Horizon MDL (MDL 10-M-2179).
  • Represented a refinery operator following a release of 25,000 barrels of oil into a residential area.  Turner v Murphy Oil USA, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:05-cv-04206-EEF-JCW. Successfully restricted the geographic area of the certified class. Following this, created and developed an aggressive settlement plan which resulted in a global settlement. The client was ultimately indemnified for all settlement payments and defense expenses. Also represented operator in this matter in connection with remediation of the contaminated properties. Remediation was supervised by EPA and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Represented a major oil producer in a two week trial regarding damage to its production spar caused by the installation of defective, Chinese-manufactured bolts, resulting in a multi-million dollar award, including attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Represented a seismic surveying company in a two week trial regarding claims that a competitor fraudulently misappropriated confidential information and trade secrets when the parties worked together to produce custom lithium batteries, resulting in a multi-million dollar jury award.
  • Represented a maritime company regarding potential exposure related to a designated CERCLA Superfund site.
  • Represented offshore operators, vessel owners, and service contractors regarding oil field personal injury and work-place exposure cases.
  • Represented a publicly traded metals company in mass tort actions involving facility air emissions.
  • Represented a facility owner in a solid waste landfill matter involving prior owners, EPA and state agencies.
  • Represented a building products manufacturer in litigation involving roofing materials on a high profile public arena.
  • Represented the manufacturer of seatbelt and air bag restraint systems in products liability and personal injury matters throughout Louisiana.
  • Represented a paper mill operator in 17 consolidated, environmental class action cases in connection with a large release into the Pearl River, with the matter settling prior to trial.
  • Represented refinery operators and contractors in environmental citizen suits under the Clean Air Act.
  • Represented businesses in economic loss claims resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Represented an international building products manufacturer regarding thousands of class action claims associated with its allegedly defective Chinese-manufactured drywall.
  • Represented a refiner in the defense of hundreds of Clean Air Act permit violation claims brought by neighbors, including parallel enforcement proceedings undertaken by the state environmental regulator.
  • Represented oil companies regarding oil field legacy suits.
  • Represented property owners regarding damage and economic loss claims results from ship collisions and allisions.