A New Orleans-area levee authority could vote to drop efforts to appeal the dismissal of its coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East will take up the issue at a special meeting on Monday. If the measure succeeds, it would mean the end of a landmark suit that convulsed Louisiana politics when it was filed in 2013.
U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown dismissed the case earlier this month, ruling that the authority had no legal claims against the 88 oil and gas companies accused of destroying southeast Louisiana’s coastal wetlands through decades of drilling and dredging activities.
The attorneys working on the case have said they will appeal that decision, though the Flood Protection Authority took no formal vote authorizing the appeal.
If the appeal is stopped, it would trigger a clause in the attorneys’ contract that would force the Flood Protection Authority to pay all of the costs they have incurred so far, an amount estimated to be close to $2 million.