Withrow v. Chevron is another Louisiana legacy lawsuit, this one claiming that defendants Chevron and Vernon E. Faulconer, Inc., and their predecessors, improperly disposed of toxic and hazardous oilfield wastes in unlined earthen pits causing leaks, spills and other surface and subsurface damages and contaminating the soil and groundwater.

Defendants’ filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the whole shebang for failure to state a claim. To defeat the motion the plaintiff had to plead specific facts, not mere conclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions. On the other hand, a complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.

This the court did not offer much in the way of reasoning for its rulings; there will be plenty of time for that. The order is helpful as a laundry list of claims often asserted by legacy plaintiffs.

The court considered the following claims:
Continue Reading Louisiana Legacy Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss

In Plaquemines Parish et al. v. Chevron et al., the U. S. Fifth Circuit has ruled on whether 42 suits brought by six parishes and the Louisiana Attorney General against a number of oil companies belongs in federal court or state court. The allegations are that the companies’ operations over the years  essentially destroyed the Louisiana coastal marshes. Billions of dollars are at stake. The immediate issue was whether the defendants’ removal was timely. They were, the result of which is that the cases are likely to remain in federal court.

A short history
Continue Reading Louisiana Coastal Zone Litigation Likely to Remain in Federal Court

Co-author Rusty Tucker

This is another chapter in the dispute between Eagle Oil & Gas Co. and. TRO-X, L.P.  The litigation arises out of an agreement to acquire and sell oil and gas leases. Here, TRO-X alleges that Eagle failed to remit a share of revenues from production that commenced after the first suit between the parties ended.

Background

In 2005 TRO-X and Eagle entered into an acreage acquisition agreement for leases in Pecos and Reeves counties. The interests would be acquired in Eagle’s name for both parties. Each party could choose to retain a percentage of un-promoted working interests in the prospects, and the remaining interests would be sold to third parties. Profitable sales would yield either “cash proceeds” or “non-cash proceeds.” The agreement included an AMI.
Continue Reading A Long-Running Dispute Over an Acquisition Agreement is Returned to the Trial Court

In May et al v. Succession of Mayo Romero et al a Louisiana court of appeal denied the plaintiff’s efforts to suspend the running of liberative prescription in the face of peremptory exceptions. The discovery rule is one theory under which the doctrine of contra non valentum can save a late-filed lawsuit. Call it what you want, but opening a succession to investigate claims and sitting on those claims for 13 years is not likely to yield a beneficial result for the plaintiff. 
Continue Reading Discovery Rule Can’t Save a Louisiana Succession’s Untimely Claim

Can an email be directed to a particular state? No, said a Texas court in Enerquest Oil & Gas, LLC v. Antero Resources Corporation. The court questioned “the very premise of the contention that an email can be sent to a particular state”. Emails are not sent to a designated computer or electronic device located at a particular place. Email accounts have no physical address. They are sent into cyberspace, saved onto a server or servers, and opened by the recipient wherever that person might happen to be whether, as the court said, “in Texas, Tennessee or Tibet.”
Continue Reading Cyberspace Saves an Out-of-State Oil Company

Co-author Sonya Reddy

Defendants accused of stealing trade secrets often claim that publicly available information can’t constitute a trade secret. Sometimes yes, but mineral ownership that can be determined from the public record only after lengthy, expensive, and labor-intensive research in the county courthouse can have trade-secret protection, according to Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Shale Exploration, LLC.

 It began like a routine exploration venture …
Continue Reading Big Damages in a Texas Trade Secret Case