Appeals court orders new trial for suit claiming land sold in West Baton Rouge Parish was contaminated

By Takesha Thomas | Nov 15, 2018

BATON ROUGE – A Louisiana marketing firm recently won a new trial on appeal regarding their lawsuit claiming they were sold contaminated land by a oil and gas company.

In its Nov. 6 ruling, Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a July 2017 decision by the 18th Judicial District Court for West Baton Rouge Parish denying Global Marketing Solutions' request for a new trial in a lawsuit against Blue Mill Farms Inc., et. al. The appellate court ruling to reverse and remand the latest filing. 

According to the filing, Global Marketing filed suit in March 2006 against Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Key Production Company Inc., and Seal Energy Co. claiming that the companies were responsible for the contamination of property purchased by Global. 

In September 2005, Global purchased 144 acres of land in the Bayou Choctaw Oil and Gas Field from Water Oak Plantation L.L.C. According to the suit, "Global alleges that after purchasing the land, it discovered that the land was contaminated by various forms of toxic waste that had seeped through the soil from drilling operations that had been conducted since 1937 to the present time." Global filed a tort and contract claims against Exxon, Chevron, Key and Seal as a result. The case was ultimately dismissed. 

Global appealed the case in September 2014 but the court affirmed the dismissal. A July 2017 trial court "rendered a final partial judgment which granted the exceptions of no cause of action filed by Chevron, Exxon, Key, and Seal," court documents state. 

In their latest filing, Global argued that the trial court erred in dismissing their claim and that Global had a cause of action. Citing a Louisiana statute that "the commissioner shall bring suit to restrain a person violating a law of this state with respect to the conservation of oil or gas, or both, or a provision of this chapter, or a rule, regulation, or order made thereunder." Global argued that, "Louisiana Revised Statutes 30: 16 allows the commissioner 10 days to bring suit to restrain a violation as provided in La. R.S. 30: 14. If the commissioner fails to bring suit within 10 days, any adversely affected person in interest may bring suit to prevent violations," the suit reads.

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