Oyster lease holders sue numerous energy companies over alleged pollution

By Louisiana Record reports | Nov 14, 2013

GRETNA – Two people who hold leases on hundreds of acres of oyster beds are suing a number of energy companies for allegedly damaging the oysters on their leases.

Peter and Eva Vujnovich filed suit against Swift Energy Operating LLC, Parker Drilling Offshore LLC, K Marine LLC, Patterson Marine Inc., Inland Barge Rentals Inc. and Marmac LLC in the 24th Judicial District Court on Oct. 18.

The Vujnovichs claim that the defendant companies where engaged in operations related to wellhead, rig and pipeline services and that they stored barges over the top of the oyster leases. The plaintiffs assert that excess siltation due to the defendants’ operations in the area including wheel washing and dredging led to their oysters being damaged. The Vujnovichs allege that the oysters in the area had a higher mortality rate.

The defendant is accused of property damage.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for damage to oysters and oyster leases, restoration and replacement costs of oyster reefs and loss of oyster revenues.

The Vujnovichs are represented by Mark E. Kaufman of Belle Chasse-based Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola & Taylor.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Michael P. Mentz.

Case no. 732-106.

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