The lawsuit against oil companies may be stalled offered its support upon hearing that Southeast Louisiana flood Protection Authority-East had filed a lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies. The suit claimed that the Katrina-flooded New Orleans had resulted from poorly designed levees and floodwalls as well as significant damage to the wetlands due to oil and gas exploration and production.

Louisiana State Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Robert Adley took many routes to try and stop the lawsuit from going further despite criticism from other government officials. Their efforts seemed to be rewarded as the Louisiana legislature passed legislation that is now known as Act 544 of 2014, which may not only put a stop to the lawsuit but may also affect claims against BP over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit has come to a head where there are many questions that are being challenged. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has concerns of his own and is expected to review the legislation further.

Studies since Katrina indicate that the Army Corps of Engineers who designed the levees implemented it in the least expensive manner. After Katrina, Flood Protection Authorities East and West were created to monitor that the same mistakes were not made in the future.

In a lawsuit such as this, the most important point that is often overlooked is the safety of the public. If a company decides to take the “cheap” way out or otherwise does not take measures to protect the public, they could be held liable for their actions. Those who experience injury due to a defective product or other’s carelessness may be able to receive compensation for their medical bills or pain and suffering, among other things. Contacting a lawyer who practices personal injury can get them the help they need.

Source: The Huffington Post, “The Citizens Fight Against Big Oil in Louisiana Continues“, Sandy Rosenthal, June 24, 2014

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