LOGA lawsuit against AG delayed: LOGA president's health at risk

photo courtesy of WVLA NBC 33
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 9:43am

The historic lawsuit filed back in July against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies is awaiting the decision of a federal judge. But now a lawsuit filed by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association in response is causing some controversy.

It’s almost like a tug of war, back and forth at this point. LOGA is allegedly trying to stop the lawsuit because they say it would scare companies from bringing jobs to Louisiana. It’s been going on for more than six months and is gaining momentum.

Here is a recap:

Back in July, a lawsuit was filed against the 97 oil companies to have them repair any damage to wetlands and pay for what can’t be repaired.

The Attorney General signed off on a resolution between the southeast flood protection authority east and a law firm (Jones Swanson Huddell & Garrison law firm) which represents the levee authority in the suit against the oil companies.

Now, LOGA is saying there isn’t fair representation in the case.

So in December of 2013, the association filed suit against Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, saying he improperly approved the contract.

Last week, LOGA President Don Briggs gave his deposition and Monday, failed to show up in court because of "health related issues."

Briggs’ attorney says he had a blood pressure of 200 after the deposition and went to a doctor. The doctor allegedly told Briggs he should not appear in court. Judge Clark called the doctor on Monday, but there was no answer. There was only a message left by a second doctor he allegedly saw.

Tuesday, Judge Janice Clark threatened to issue a bench warrant if he did not show up. Brigg’s failed to show up yet again. After an hour recess, Judge Clark received the medical documentation she needed that was driven over from Lafayette, so a warrant was not issued.

The attorney representing the AG says not only is the situation frustrating, he says at this point, it's also very confusing.

"He indicated in the deposition that he filed the lawsuit and never read it he never read the lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge or in Orleans Parish,” said Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s attorney, E. Wade Shows. “It’s an unusual situation where you have to subpoena a person who brings lawsuit to appear in court."

Now, the Attorney General's Office has filed a counter lawsuit claiming its decision was correct and fair.
The statements and cases have been heard and both sides are now awaiting a verdict.

NBC33 talked with some representatives from the AG's office that said, Don Brigg's health problems could possibly be a delay tactic, in hopes of getting Governor Bobby Jindal involved in the initial law suit.

The LOGA president's testimony has been re-scheduled at this point for March 10th. NBC33 will let you know what happens then.


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