Our team handles highly technical cases that require a great deal of scientific and operational understanding, including those involving environmental contamination, groundwater contamination, land loss suits against pipeline operators, personal injury, permit disputes, regulatory remediation, eminent domain/expropriation, CERLA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Groundwater Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.
We regularly represent clients in court as well as in regulatory proceedings, and our attorneys are known for immersing themselves in the complicated aspects of cases, as well as for their ability to steer cases in a strategic and effective manner to achieve the overarching goal of litigation. The matters we see often involve industrial disasters, regulatory enforcement proceedings, contamination, industry-induced coastal erosion and land loss, contractual disputes, and trespass issues.
According to Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, there are more than 125,000 miles of pipelines running across the state. These pipelines play a significant role in Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis. Fishman Haygood’s seminal coastal land loss case, Vintage Assets Inc. v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., et al., set a course for the restoration of coastal wetlands that surround pipelines. The environmental team obtained favorable injunctive relief against pipeline company defendants, requiring specific performance and restoration of the lost wetlands and an ongoing obligation to protect these wetlands from future erosion.
From there, the team has brought multiple cases on behalf of landowners and other entities against various pipeline companies across the state, similarly seeking to have the land loss caused by the pipeline canals traversing the property restored and protected in the future. Most recently, the firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The LDWF oversees the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is made up of nearly 34,000 acres of coastal wetlands in Lafourche and Terrebone parishes. This land is entrusted to the LDWF and provides habitats for many species of fish and wildlife, and it offers valuable ecological functions, namely storm protection and public recreation. The LDWF recently filed a petition for injunctive relief against several pipeline companies for failing to properly maintain the land entrusted to them for their use as pipeline canals. This failure to maintain the canals has caused destruction of the important marshlands across the WMA. The suit seeks to require the pipeline defendants to honor their contractual obligations to safeguard and restore the coastal wetlands they have damaged.
The firm also represents and has obtained favorable outcomes for clients in cases where private property has been contaminated by oil and gas exploration and production activities. Contamination is often caused by the drilling fluids and brine that is produced as a result of oil and gas exploration and production activities. Brine and drilling fluids are contaminated with toxic constituents that can easily poison thousands of gallons of fresh water or seep into the soil and devastate the land. Evidence of damage to land and fresh water caused by oil and gas contamination may not be visible to the untrained eye. In fact, the damage may have occurred decades before it is discovered. With assistance from world-renowned experts, we can determine the extent, location, and type of contamination impacting properties across Louisiana and seek remediation and damages from the responsible companies.
- Represents private landowners and governmental entities, including the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, seeking to restore land loss caused by pipeline canals across Louisiana.
- Represents and has obtained favorable outcomes in multiple actions brought on behalf of clients whose private property has been contaminated by oil and gas exploration and production activities.
- Represents landowners in oil and gas plug and abandonment and equipment removal cases.
- Jeanerette Lumber & Shingle Co., LLC v. ConocoPhillips Company, Alta Mesa Holdings, LP, Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Apache Corporation, and Texas Petroleum Investment Company, No. 134307, Division E (successfully settled large environmental contamination lawsuit for a confidential amount).
- Morgan City Land and Fur Company, LLC v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, Southern Natural Gas Company, LLC, High Point Gas Transmission, LLC, High Point Gas Transmission, LLC, High Point Gas Gathering, LLC, and Cayenne Pipeline, LLC., No. 64-754, Section B (successfully concluded a large dispute in Plaquemines Parish involving multiple pipeline companies which operate several pipelines and canals across the Plaintiff’s property).
- Vintage Assets Inc. v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., et. al., No. 16-00713 (E.D. La.) (granting specific performance and ordering the defendants to restore certain coastal wetlands surrounding pipelines) (vacated on jurisdictional grounds).
- BCR Holdings v. Baby Oil, Inc., et al., No. 127030 (17th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Lafourche, Louisiana) (obtained favorable confidential settlement in contamination case).
- Bowie Lumber Associates v. Anadarko OGC Company, et al., No. 134888 (17th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Lafourche, Louisiana) (contamination case).
- New 90, LLC, et al. v. Grigsby Petroleum, Inc., et al., No. 130528 (16th Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Mary, Louisiana) (groundwater contamination case).
- Bowie Lumber Associates v. White Oak Operating Company, LLC, et al., No. 129052 (17th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Lafourche, Louisiana) (contamination case).