courts

A state judge in Baton Rouge has ruled that Louisiana's Legislature missed its mark when it passed a bill seeking to halt a south Louisiana flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal damage.

The legislation prohibits state agencies and local governments from pursuing such suits. But state District Judge Janice Clark on Monday said the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East is neither a state agency nor a local government.

Jesus Rodriguez / Flickr

A federal judge has ruled that nearly 4,000 homeowners who say Chinese drywall ruined their homes are eligible to share any further damages he may award in lawsuits against a government-owned manufacturer that failed to show up in court.

Attorney Leonard Davis of New Orleans said Monday that notices were sent Friday to the homeowners in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Texas and Alabama.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon certified all plaintiffs in nine lawsuits last week as members of a class-action suit against Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd.

A former BP engineer waiting for a retrial on charges stemming from the 2010 oil spill has been granted permission to travel abroad.

A federal judge says that Kurt Mix will be allowed to travel to China next month to attend his stepson's wedding, and visit with family.

Prosecutors have accused Mix of deleting text messages about the amount of oil hushing from the blown-out well.

He was convicted on one count in 2013 but won a new trial based on juror misconduct. He has pleaded not-guilty.

A former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has gotten a delay in his case.

David Rainey's court arraignment, originally set for this week, was re-scheduled for December 3 by a federal magistrate judge in New Orleans Thursday.

Rainey faces charges of obstruction of Congress and false statements. He currently is set for trial March 9. He has pleaded not guilty.

kris krüg / Wikimedia

BP wanted its money back — hundreds of millions of dollars of it — but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business.

BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago

BP will be asking a federal judge in New Orleans today to approve refunding some settlement payments over the 2010 oil spill.

The company says hundreds of millions of dollars should be returned from some businesses that received payments between August 2012 to October of last year.

BP says it's fair because Judge Carl Barbier found the formula used at that time was incorrect, and ordered a change.

Opposing attorneys say BP is trying to get out of its obligations. They say the release plaintiffs sign to get a settlement payment is a binding agreement for both sides.

The state is appealing a Lafayette judge’s ruling that Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

It was Judge Edward Rubin's second ruling that Angela Costanza of Broussard may adopt partner Chasity Brewer's son, and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate.

The two married in California, and the suit says it should be recognized.

Rubin's ruling in February was overturned by a state appellate court.

Lafayette attorney Joshua Guillory tells The Advocate he believes it's the first time a state judge has found the law unconstitutional.

A state judge in Lafayette has ruled that Louisiana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

It was Judge Edward Rubin's second ruling that Angela Costanza of Broussard may adopt partner Chasity Brewer's son and be listed as a parent on his birth certificate. The two were married in California, and the suit says that marriage should be recognized.

Rubin's ruling in February was overturned by a state appeal court.

Brewer says she's been told Monday's ruling will be released after it's rewritten to remove the child's name.

Wally Gobetz / Flickr

The heirs of philanthropist Edward Wisner have lost their latest courtroom fight against Mayor Landrieu.

The Wisner heirs had sought to continue financial control of the Wisner Donation Fund, an almost 100-year-old trust that manages 52,000 acres of coastline in Jefferson, Lafourche and St. John parishes.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans says a federal safety board has the right to investigate the role of Transocean in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP. 

The company challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to do the investigation.

In a 2-1 decision yesterday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.

The safety board's investigation continued during the appeal. 

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