BATON ROUGE – A Louisiana State University researcher who wrote an economic impact study on legacy lawsuits is again being challenged by a plaintiff's firm that wants to depose him over that study.
The Talbot, Carmouche and Marcello firm of Baton Rouge filed opposition to LSU Energy Center assistant director and professor David Dismukes' motion to quash a deposition.
Dismukes released a study in late February revealing the state economy had lost an estimated $6.8 billion and missed out on the creation of more than 30,000 jobs over the past eight years due to lawsuits filed on behalf of property owners who claim environmental damages from past energy extraction activities.
The Talbot firm is involved in numerous ongoing legacy lawsuits and has been a staunch opponent of attempts at reform such as those currently being pushed in the state legislature.
LSU's attorneys claimed Dismukes should not have to attend the deposition because he is not directly involved in any pending legacy lawsuit litigation, the study has not been relied on by any case and that forcing Dismukes to attend a deposition would create a chilling effect on academic freedom.
The motion by the firm seeks to dispel those ideas and says that the study impacts all legacy lawsuits.
In addition, the motion claims Dismukes sought to directly influence politicians and potential jurors and that board members of the Center for Energy Studies are comprised of a "who's who" list of energy industry proponents who funded the study.
The case the firm is seeking the deposition for pits Spanish Lake Restoration against 11 energy producers.
It was filed in 18th Judicial Civil Court of the Parish of Iberville under docket number 69702 and has been assigned to Division D Judge William C. Dupont.