On Oct. 31, a settlement was reached between the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East and two oil companies from Houston. The oil companies had previously been named as defendants in a lawsuit that was filed against 97 different oil, gas and pipeline companies. After agreeing to settle for $50,000, Chroma Operating Inc. and White Oak Operating LLC were each dismissed from the claim.
Currently, a total of 86 companies are remaining as defendants in the lawsuit that was filed in July 2013. Nine other companies that were previously included in the suit were dismissed due to bankruptcy or because their inclusion was found to be inappropriate. The recent dismissal of two companies marked the first financial settlement in the lawsuit so far.
According to the claim, the companies named in the lawsuit are responsible for causing extensive damage to wetlands through their operations. The damage is blamed for a reduction in the local levees' ability to protect people from the effects of 100-year storms. Money that is awarded as a result of the lawsuit and related settlements will be used for levee system improvements or coastal restoration projects, according to the levee authority.
When oil and gas companies are irresponsible, their activities have the potential of causing serious damage to the environment. This damage may affect the health and safety of people who live in the area for years to come. People or businesses that may have been affected by the activities of oil and gas companies may be able to seek some financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: NOLA.com, "Federal judge dismisses two oil companies from levee authority wetlands damage suit after they agree to $50,000 settlement", Mark Schleifstein, October 31, 2014