Gov. Bobby Jindal says a lawsuit filed by a flood protection board against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies is a "trial lawyer windfall."
The Governor asserts that the board has "overstepped its authority" and he has called on the board to cancel its contract with the lawyers.
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed the suit in state court in New Orleans.
The lawsuit alleges that oil and gas companies have caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands by digging and dredging oil and gas pipeline canals; and that the loss of the wetlands increased flood dangers.
Jindal is demanding that the lawsuit be pulled.
"We're not going to allow a single levee board that has been hijacked by a group of trial lawyers to determine flood protection, coastal restoration and economic repercussions for the entire state of Louisiana," Jindal said.
"A better approach to help restoring Louisiana's coast includes holding the Army Corps of Engineers accountable, pushing for more offshore revenue sharing and holding BP accountable for the damage their spill is doing to our coast," he added.
A member of the levee board, John Barry, defended the board's decision to proceed with the lawsuit in an interview with The Advocate.
The newspaper quoted Barry as saying, "our board is independent and arrived at its position based on its collective scientific and policy judgment."