In Louisiana, oil has been causing damage for many years due to poor maintenance and negligent corporations. If your property has been contaminated by oil operations or a pipeline carrying petroleum or natural gases, our lawyers can help you get justice.
Claims filed by property owners or individuals suffering the consequences of polluted groundwater could mean the recovery of significant damages through the litigation process.
Is your property damaged from oil drilling that was not remediated? Is your groundwater contaminated? If so, you may wish to file a claim with an experienced property damage lawyer. Oilfield contamination suits can be brought up to 10 years from the last oil and gas leak.
Pipelines, flow lines, storage tanks, and drilling equipment abandoned at sites can pollute otherwise healthy soil, leaving property owners to deal with the corrupt land left behind.
Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) can linger in the soil for decades after oil and gas operations have ended.
The following can contribute to contaminated groundwater and environmental damages, like de-vegetation and staining:
- "Fracking" for natural gases
- Oil or gas spills
- Reuse of equipment
- Tank or line leaks
These activities produce sludge, wastewater and scale, which can all contribute to the contamination of source water and further damage a property owner's land.
Health Hazards & Conditions
Waste associated with oil fields may cause harmful side effects to an individual’s health.
In fact, aside from polluting local water tables and supplies, the toxic fumes that are often emitted by leaking pipes and valves can result in serious breathing difficulties for many individuals.
Potential side effects from exposure to radioactive materials and other oil field chemicals may include:
- Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Skin conditions like rashes and burns
- Vision impairment
Those experiencing any of these symptoms who believe they have been exposed to oil field contaminants should seek medical assistance immediately and contact an attorney to discuss whether there is a valid injury claim.
Top-Producing Oil Well Parishes in Louisiana
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. has more than 30,000 oilfields.
With its abundance of petroleum below Louisiana’s soil, it is estimated that an astonishing one in every six employees statewide is connected to the oilfield industry.
The top-producing oil well parishes in Louisiana and their level of production are as follows:
- Beinville (High)
- Bossier (High)
- De Soto (High)
- Jackson (High)
- LaFourche (High)
- Plaquemines (High)
- Terrebonne (High)
- Caddo (Medium)
- Calcasieu (Medium)
- Cameron (Medium)
- Claiborne (Medium)
- Iberia (Medium)
- Jefferson Davis (Medium)
- Lincoln (Medium)
- Pointe-Coupee (Medium)
- Saint Mary (Medium)
- Vermillion (Medium)
- Webster (Medium)
In the state of Louisiana, there were over 8,200 wells identified as orphaned since 1993, according to the Oilfield Site Restoration (OSR) program run by the Louisiana Office of Conservation. Since 1993, the OSR has closed a total of 2,453 wells, 596 production and reserve pits, and 295 facilities at a cost of $65 million.
In addition, 3,000 wells were removed from the orphan list after private operators took them over.
Oilfield Contamination Lawsuit
The “IOWA PRODUCTION, Shell Oil Company et al” case, addressed the oilfield contamination cleanup claims of the owners of ten acres of rural land in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. This property was the subject of a surface lease obtained by Shell Oil Company in 1955 and allowed the company to use the property exclusively for any and all purposes.
Included in the lease was the requirement that Shell Oil Company restore the land to as near to its former condition as possible upon termination of the lease. When the lease expired on Feb. 24, 2005, the oil company failed to live up to its end of the agreement or warn new land owners of its damage, contamination and wastes left behind. A lawsuit was filed on behalf of these landowners.
Ultimately the Louisiana Supreme Court held that:
The evidence was sufficient to support award of $33,000,000 for failure to restore land to original condition, even though the land was only worth $108,000 in its restored condition...
- The damages awarded were not limited to the land's market value but rather could be based on the amount necessary to restore the land to original condition as specified by lease;
- Injury to water aquifer was not speculative;
- The land owners would recover the entire $33,000,000 award even though $28,000,000 of the award was for potential aquifer contamination and land owners had no duty to restore premises to prevent aquifer contamination;
- The evidence was sufficient to support the finding that subsequent lease holders caused no damage to land and were therefore not partially liable for award;
- The landowner's cause of action arose upon termination of the surface lease rather that at the time of the actual injury or contamination;
- Pre-judgment interest on the additional amounts due for the trespass resulting from the unauthorized saltwater disposal was the proper method to calculate the value of those damages; and
- Attorney’s fee award of $4,000,000 was reasonable.
Louisiana Environmental and Oil Contamination Lawyers Simien and Simien has represented land owners against "Big Oil" companies, and are prepared to help you today.
Contact Our Oilfield Contamination Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been affected by oilfield contamination, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and more.
At the law offices of Simien & Simien, our personal injury lawyers have a reputation throughout many parts of the country for effective litigation, successful results and vast experience including oilfield contamination claims.
Some of the places in which our firm has represented clients in Louisiana include:
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- New Orleans
- Port Allen
... and all other areas throughout Louisiana.
To find out how we could help you, simply fill out the 100% FREE and strictly confidential “Case Evaluation” form at the top of the page or call us Toll Free at (800) 374-8422.
Your first consultation is 100% FREE and we're here to help you TODAY.