Energy & Environmental
Coulter v. Texaco, Inc.
Frilot L.L.C. successfully defended Texaco against a claim brought by a worker for injuries sustained while working for an independent drilling contractor on a Texaco drilling platform. The case was removed to federal court and summary judgment was granted in favor of defendant. On appeal, the 5th Circuit affirmed, holding that Texaco was not liable since it neither retained operational control over the drilling contractor’s acts, nor did it impliedly authorize those acts.
Licciardi v. Murphy Oil USA
A landowner brought a CERCLA cost recovery action against a neighboring oil refinery for alleged lead contamination, seeking to recover expenses for sampling and testing. Lead counsel for Murphy were firm attorneys George Frilot and Jim Shuey. The United States Fifth Circuit held that neither the geological survey, the drinking water standard, nor the toxic concentration leaching procedure (TCLP) standard provided any possible basis for finding that the release caused response costs. The Fifth Circuit held that in absence of evidence that the release justified response costs, a finding of a hazardous substance 'above ground levels' was insufficient to find CERCLA liability.
McKinnis v. Amoco Production Company
The firm defended Amoco Production Company when land owners filed claims of damages and pollution to their property as the result of the spill of materials from an oilfield production facility on adjacent property. Plaintiff sought damages for the loss of trees and vegetation, as well as the cost of a remediation plan prepared by their expert. The court did not find any violation or environmental loss sufficient to justify the remediation plan or the complaints filed by the plaintiffs with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. However, the Court concluded that the salt water discharge probably was the cause of the trees dying. The court awarded plaintiffs $814.80.
Terrebone Parish School Board vs. Mobil Oil Corp.
Frilot L.L.C. successfully defended a Louisiana federal court’s ruling dismissing a school board’s claims for oilfield canal restoration and related damages. The Fifth Circuit’s ruling reaffirms that prescription applies to oilfield canal restoration claims and that Louisiana school boards are not entitled to take advantage of the State of Louisiana’s immunity from prescription/statute of limitations.