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Showing 3 posts in Louisiana.

Last month, in U.S. v. CITGO Petro. Corp., 711 Fed. Appx. 237 (5th Cir. 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed an $81 million civil penalty assessment under the federal Clean Water Act (“CWA”) against CITGO Petroleum Corp. (“CITGO”), for unpermitted wastewater discharges from its plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana when a severe rainstorm caused two storage tanks to fail and over 2 million gallons of oil to be discharged into local waterways.  In the underlying case before the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, CITGO conceded liability, and therefore, the only issue for trial was the total penalty to be assessed.  After a two-week bench trial, the District Court determined that CITGO had failed to properly maintain its wastewater storage tanks and allowed sludge and waste oil to accumulate in the tanks, which lessened their total storage capacity and ability to withstand a storm surge.  The District Court ultimately assessed a $6 million civil penalty against CITGO, which EPA appealed.  Read More »

An issue that insurers and industry have grappled with is whether a company can obtain environmental insurance coverage for costs to address violations of the Clean Air Act, when the costs at issue are aimed at curbing future air emissions, rather than remediating emissions that have already occurred.  Last week, one federal judge in Louisiana answered that question in the affirmative in La Gen Louisiana Gen. LLC, et al. v. Illinois Union Ins. Co., Dkt. No. 3:10-cv-00516 (M.D. La., Aug. 5, 2015).  Read More »

Both before and after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2451 (2011), removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) was a key tool in the arsenal employed by class action defendants, as federal courts have become increasingly more skeptical of certifying classes in toxic tort class actions.  But with many state court procedural rules patterned after their federal counterparts, federal trends can influence state courts, and the recent Louisiana Supreme Court decision in Price v. Roy R. Martin, 2011-C-0853 (Dec. 6, 2011), is a perfect example. Read More »