Over the last seven months, three New Orleans-area law firms spent thousands of hours researching how to do something that many have talked about, but never tried — hold oil and gas companies accountable for increasing the flood risk to the metro area by destroying coastal wetlands.

In the end, the lawyers settled on a centuries-old legal concept. But they know the success of that choice will depend on the science supporting it.

At The Lens:

This story was originally published by The Lens (thelensnola.org), an independent, nonprofit newsroom serving New Orleans.

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Science to be key factor in lawsuit against oil and gas companies for coastal loss