ILR’s latest research paper examines new developments in the long-running saga of lawyer-generated coastal erosion lawsuits against Louisiana energy companies. 

A recent, $100 million settlement between one mid-size energy company (which no longer operates in the state) and a group of private attorneys representing local parishes threatens to up-end the entirety of state coastal policy. Moreover, this one-off settlement threatens the successful coastal protection and restoration regimes already in place in the state.

ILR’s research gives a brief overview of Louisiana’s coastal erosion problem and trial lawyer efforts to monetize it through litigation, then examines various pieces of legislation that have been proposed to implement the settlement.

Our paper shows that far from helping remedy coastal erosion, this legislation and the settlement itself would create major complications for the state’s coastal remediation efforts, and they would set a terrible precedent for energy businesses operating in Louisiana and for the state’s economy itself. It also shows that by contrast, a working partnership between the state and Louisiana energy companies accomplishes far more to restore the coast than lawsuits can.


Leigh Ann Schell, Sara Valentine, and Alexandra Lamb, Adams and Reese LLP