Fishman Haygood Thwarts Oil Companies’ Maneuvers in Court
June 17, 2015
Fishman Haygood recently defeated dozens of oil and gas companies who attempted to drag four state-filed cases into federal court.
The firm represents Louisiana landowners bringing Louisiana state law claims for damage to their property resulting from the oil and gas development and production operations conducted on or adjacent to their land. The cases were originally filed in state court in Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes.
The oil companies, believing that federal court would be a more favorable venue for them, argued that the cases belonged instead in federal court because the landowners’ claims: (1) required interpretation of federal law; (2) arose under maritime law; and/or (3) arose under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Fishman Haygood successfully argued that the cases belonged in state court because they involved Louisiana landowners bringing Louisiana state law claims resulting from activity by the oil and gas companies that occurred on Louisiana lands or within Louisiana’s territorial waters. Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Carl Barbier sided with the landowners in three of the cases; Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Martin Feldman ruled in their favor in the fourth case.
The cases have been remanded to state court.
Fishman Haygood attorneys Lance McCardle, Ben Reichard, and Blair Schilling represent the landowners in the cases. Attorneys from Jones Swanson of New Orleans; Ballay, Braud & Colon, PLC of Belle Chasse, Louisiana; and Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, L.L.C. of Lake Charles, Louisiana also represent the landowners.