Pipeline Rupture Litigation

Kean Miller LLP represents the interests of local, national and international energy and pipeline companies. For over 35 years, our representation has involved a wide variety of expropriation, environmental, land use, and other legal matters. We have successfully represented numerous energy and pipeline companies in environmental contamination and toxic tort claims in Louisiana involving ruptured or leaking pipelines.

Representative Experience:

  • Representation of a national pipeline company in the 21st Judicial District Court in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. This matter involved the rupture of a high pressure natural gas pipeline in a rural area of St. Helena Parish. The rupture caused a fire that burned more than 30 acres of woodlands, primarily used for hunting. 350 residents in the vicinity of the rupture filed a joint petition making claims for personal injury (primary respiratory ailments), fear and fright, and punitive damages. The matter was removed to federal court on grounds of diversity jurisdiction, but ultimately remanded to the state court on grounds that the amount in dispute for each claimant did not exceed the jurisdictional amount of $75,000. The matter was settled at the trial court level.

  • Representation of large pipeline company in consolidated cases in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. In this case we represented our client in connection with the release of over one million gallons of gasoline from a 40" interstate pipeline in Louisiana. The gasoline contaminated a drinking water aquifer and soluble constituents (MTBE/BTEX) leached into surface waters in a nearby recreational creek. We defended the client in a class action lawsuit, resulting in a favorable class settlement well below the potential liability predicted by mock jury trials. We also represented the client in related enforcement action instituted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and assisted the company’s outside counsel in connection with claims by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department.

  • Representation of a large pipeline company in a case before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In this case we represented a large energy company in connection with landowners' lawsuit related to the rupture of a natural gas pipeline and resulting release of natural gas condensate into a saltwater marsh. We were also engaged in representing the company in connection with Natural Resource Damages (NRDA) claims by the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator Office (LOSCO) and federal and state trustees which include NOAA and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.