The Times Picayune recently reported two energy companies named in a environmental damages lawsuit filed by the east bank levee authority have agreed to an out-of court settlement. Although the full details of the agreement are being kept secret, we do know that two energy producers, White Oak Operating Co., LLC, and Chroma Operating, Inc., agreed to pay $50,000 “in exchange for a complete and full release and dismissal from the case …”
While trial lawyers are describing the settlement as a significant step forward, it begs the question: if they had a credible legal strategy that had any chance of succeeding in court, why settle with anyone, much less two companies for a measly $50,000? It is obvious that sum of money won’t even begin to cover legal fees, much less pay for a truck to start moving dirt.
Of course, one reasonable explanation is they don’t have a credible legal strategy and are perhaps becoming desperate in the final weeks before a November 12 hearing before a federal judge who will consider arguments on a variety of motions to have the lawsuit dismissed.
Read the full Times Picayune report online here.