Fleming Plantation owners suing over alleged contamination of property leased for mineral extraction

By Kyle Barnett | Apr 3, 2013

Robert E. Tarcza

GRETNA – The owners of a large Barataria plantation are suing multiple oil companies for allegedly contaminating their property.

Fleming Plantation Nevada LLC filed suit against Chevron USA, Canlan Oil Company, Abaco Exploration Inc., Dixie Rice Agricultural Corporation Inc., Lanoco Inc., U.S. Oil & Gas Inc., Riceland Petroleum Company, New Hope Properties Inc., Ralaco Ventures Inc., Herbert L. Raburn, Ronald W. Hanson, Walter Matthews Jr. and Carolyn Matthews Love in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 1.

Fleming Plantation Nevada  claims it owns 3,700 acres of real estate in Jefferson Parish, a portion of which has been leased for oil exploration and drilling purposes since 1937, including a 20-acre operations site that has been leased since 1991. The plaintiff alleges that within the operations site is a two-acre drilling site which an environmental consulting firm found numerous contaminants.

Fleming Plantation Nevada asserts it had no knowledge of the contaminants on the property prior to the environmental review. The plaintiff alleges the defendants are responsible for any and all damage to the surface and sub-surface of the property through the negligent and hazardous storing, transport and handling of hazardous and toxic substances.

All defendants listed in the case were allegedly involved in exploring, production and transmission of hydrocarbons on the property since 1937.

The defendants are accused of breaching covenants and duties of good faith and fair dealing.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for the cost to evaluate and clean up the area to protect human health and the environment, diminution in the value of the property, stigma associated with the property following remediation, lost revenues, exposure to liability from the government, penalties, punitive damages, interest, attorney's fees and court costs.

Fleming Plantation Nevada is represented by Robert E. Tarcza of New Orleans-based Tarcza & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge June Berry Darensburg.

Case no. 723-511.

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