Jurisdictional question revived in suits over coastal loss
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The question of whether lawsuits blaming big oil companies for loss of vulnerable Louisiana coastal wetlands will be tried in state courts or federal courts has been revived by a federal appeals panel.
Thursday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was a victory for the oil companies, which say federal courts should handle the cases.
It was also a partial reversal of a decision the same court made a year ago. Aside from the jurisdictional question, the overarching issue in the lawsuits is whether the oil companies can be held responsible for allegedly contributing to Louisiana’s coastal erosion and loss of wetlands.
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