WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from 11 Louisiana parishes that wanted to revive their lawsuits over wildlife damage from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill. A rupture of BP’s Macondo well and the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers.
BP says it has paid more than $27 billion to restore the coast and settle damage claims. It also faces a federal lawsuit under the Clean Water Act.
The lawsuits were filed by Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Charles, Jefferson, Iberia, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Cameron parishes.
The district attorneys for the parishes who were pursuing the lawsuits said the federal courts were wrong to ignore the Louisiana Wildlife Statute. The parishes said the law gives the state power to impose penalties for harm to wildlife from offshore oil spills beyond what is authorized under federal law.
The case is Louisiana v. BP Exploration and Production, 13-1424.