Faircloth claims he is drafting compromise bill in legacy lawsuit issue

Kyle Barnett Apr. 24, 2012, 4:49am

Attorney Jimmy Faircloth

BATON ROUGE – The main opponent to the energy industry's proposed legacy lawsuit reforms claims he is drafting legislation that will meet the desires of the energy industry while providing protection to others.

Jimmy Faircloth, former executive counsel for Governor Bobby Jindal, said in a Senate Natural Resources Committee on Monday that he is drafting a bill that would be more of a compromise than what is currently being advanced in the House.

Faircloth provides legal representation to Roy O. Martin, one of the largest landowners in the state.

Faircloth was recently accused by state Rep. Neil Abramson of threatening his career over the legislator's bill HB618 that passed the House Civil Law Committee last week.

Abramson's bill would clear up one of the energy industry's complaints that anyone who owns land that was formerly used for drilling, whether polluted or not, could benefit from filing a lawsuit without having to prove damages.

Faircloth said that much like Abramson's bill, his would meet the energy industry's criteria of allowing them to admit to responsibility for past damages, hold an open and transparent public meeting on the damages and have a plan for cleanup developed by the Department of Natural Resources that would be admissible in court.

However, Faircloth claimed his bill would go further to protect other interests.

"It is also going to give attention to public health and attention to the small producers," said Faircloth.

Faircloth did not hint at when his bill may be introduced.

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