U.S. Senator David Vitter today thanked Gov. Bobby Jindal for signing into law a solution to the legacy lawsuit issue. Legacy lawsuits have been a contentious issue for the state legislature, but both the Senate and House of Representatives passed this solution. Throughout the debate, Vitter argued that the stalemate over the legacy lawsuit issue favored one side: the trial attorneys who seek millions in damages.
"I want to thank the state legislature for passing this strong solution to the legacy lawsuit issue which Governor Jindal signed into law today. It will help clean up real contamination and shut down the trial lawyer bonanza, which has been hurting job creation in our energy sector. And it happened for one reason -- legislators did their job, faced a tough issue and voted the right way in the House, and in the Senate," Vitter said.
"LOGA would like to give particular praise to U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) for his leadership as a driving force that resulted in this much-needed solution to these frivolous Legacy Lawsuits. While this was not a Capitol Hill battle, Sen. Vitter made his voice heard in our home state of Louisiana. These two pieces of legislation successfully passing out of the state legislature would not have been possible without his willingness to speak out on behalf of the industry and keep the issue on the forefront of the public debate," said Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
Vitter highlighted a few key components that he had been fighting for and were part of the solution on legacy lawsuits:
* Allows operators to accept responsibility for cleaning up sites by mandating open and transparent process before trial.
* Calls for a pretrial public hearing
* Makes sure the clean-up plan is publicly available and admissible in court.
The term "legacy lawsuits" is used in reference to lawsuits where a landowner claims old oil and gas operations contaminated their property. These lawsuits are often filed against every operator who has ever worked that property.
Vitter worked closely with and credited Dan Juneau, President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association for the legacy lawsuit victory.