745 F.3d 157 (5th Cir. 2014), 12-30012, In re Deepwater Horizon

Docket Nº:12-30012
Citation:745 F.3d 157
Opinion Judge:EDITH H. JONES, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:IN RE: DEEPWATER HORIZON
Attorney:For PLAQUEMINES PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, District Attorney for the Parish of Orleans ex rel State of Louisiana, Plaintiff - Appellants: Stephen B. Murray, Jr., Murray Law Firm, New Orleans, LA; Philip Francis Cossich, Jr., David Allen Parsiola, Esq., Cossich, Su...
Judge Panel:Before JONES, BARKSDALE and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 24, 2014
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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745 F.3d 157 (5th Cir. 2014)

IN RE: DEEPWATER HORIZON

No. 12-30012

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

February 24, 2014

Petition for certiorari filed at, 05/23/2014

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Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

For PLAQUEMINES PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, District Attorney for the Parish of Orleans ex rel State of Louisiana, Plaintiff - Appellants: Stephen B. Murray, Jr., Murray Law Firm, New Orleans, LA; Philip Francis Cossich, Jr., David Allen Parsiola, Esq., Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola & Taylor, L.L.C., Belle Chasse, LA.

For ST. BERNARD PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Peter J. Butler, Jr., Esq., Richard G. Passler, Barrett Robert Stephens, Esq., Edward J. Womac, Jr. & Associates, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA; John Francis Rowley, Chalmette, LA.

For LAFOURCHE PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Walter J. Leger, Jr., Christine Elizabeth Sevin, Attorney, Leger & Shaw, New Orleans, LA; Camille A. Morvant, II, Thibodaux, LA; Franklin G. Shaw, Leger & Shaw, Covington, LA.

For TERREBONNE PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: C. Berwick Duval, II, Stanwood Robert Duval, Duval, Funderburk, Sundbery, Lovell & Watkins, Houma, LA; Joseph Lee Waitz, Jr., Houma, LA.

For ST. CHARLES PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Victor L. Marcello, Esq., Talbot, Carmouche & Marcello, Baton Rouge, LA; Wanda Jean Edwards, Attorney, Calvin Clifford Fayard, Jr., Esq., Senior Trial Attorney, David Blayne Honeycutt, Esq., Fayard & Honeycutt, A.P.C., Denham Springs, LA.

For JEFFERSON PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: C. Berwick Duval, II, Stanwood Robert Duval, Duval, Funderburk, Sundbery, Lovell & Watkins, Houma, LA; Paul D. Connick, Jr., Gretna, LA.

For IBERIA PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ST. MARY PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ST. TAMMANY PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellants: Victor L. Marcello, Esq., Talbot, Carmouche & Marcello, Baton Rouge, LA; Tommy W. Thornhill, Thornhill Law Firm, Slidell, LA; Wanda Jean Edwards, Attorney, Calvin Clifford Fayard, Jr., Esq., Senior Trial Attorney, David Blayne Honeycutt, Esq., Fayard & Honeycutt, A.P.C., Denham Springs, LA; John Phillip Haney, New Iberia, LA.

For CAMERON PARISH DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Philip Francis Cossich, Jr., David Allen Parsiola, Esq., Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola & Taylor, L.L.C., Belle Chasse, LA.

For BP EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION, INCORPORATED, BP PRODUCTS NORTH AMERICA, INCORPORATED, BP AMERICA, INCORPORATED, BRITISH PETROLEUM, P.L.C., Defendant - Appellees: Richard Cartier Godfrey, Esq., James Andrew Langan, Esq., Elizabeth A. Larsen, Kirkland & Ellis, L.L.P., Chicago, IL; Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Sr., Esq., Kirkland & Ellis, L.L.P., Washington, DC; Don Keller Haycraft, Liskow & Lewis, P.L.C., New Orleans, LA; Paul Matthew Jones, Esq., Trial Attorney, Liskow & Lewis, Lafayette, LA.

For HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INCORPORATED, Defendant - Appellee: Donald Everett Godwin, Esq., Managing Senior Counsel, Godwin Lewis, P.C., Dallas, TX; Robert Alan York, Godwin Lewis, P.C., Houston, TX.

For TRANSOCEAN OFFSHORE DEEPWATER DRILLING, L.L.C., TRANSOCEAN DEEPWATER, INCORPORATED, TRANSOCEAN HOLDINGS, L.L.C., TRITON ASSET LEASING GMBH, Defendant - Appellees: Steven Lynn Roberts, Attorney, Rachel Giesber Clingman, Attorney, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, L.L.P., Houston, TX; Brad D. Brian, Esq., Munger, Tolles & Olson, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles, CA, Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P., Houston, TX; Sean Daniel Jordan, Kent C. Sullivan, Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, L.L.P., Austin, TX; Edward F. Kohnke, IV, Esq., Preis & Roy, A.P.L.C., New Orleans, LA; Daniel Benjamin Levin, Munger, Tolles & Olson, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA; Evans Martin McLeod, Esq., Phelps Dunbar, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA; Kerry J. Miller, Joseph Nicholas Mole, Esq., Campbell E. Wallace, Esq., Frilot, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA; Edwin G. Preis, Jr., Esq., Preis & Roy, A.P.L.C., Lafayette, LA.

For CAMERON INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, Defendant - Appellee: Russell S. Post, David J. Beck, Esq., Robert David Daniel, Beck Redden, L.L.P., Houston, TX; Carmelite M. Bertaut, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA.

For M-I, L.L.C., Defendant - Appellee: Allyson Newton Ho, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, L.L.P., Dallas, TX, Derek E. Leon, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, L.L.P., Miami, FL, Denise U. Scofield, Attorney, Hugh Earl Tanner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, L.L.P., Houston, TX.

For WEATHERFORD US, L.P., Defendant - Appellee: Glenn G. Goodier, William Cothbert Baldwin, Lance Michael Sannino, Jones Walker LLP, New Orleans, LA; Michael G. Lemoine, Jones Walker LLP, Lafayette, LA.

For ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION, ANADARKO E& P COMPANY, L.P., Defendant - Appellees: David Bruce Salmons, Esq., Attorney, Bryan Michael Killian, Esq., Ky E. Kirby, Bingham McCutchen, L.L.P., Washington, DC; James Joseph Dragna, Bingham McCutchen, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA; Deborah D. Kuchler, Kuchler, Polk, Schell, Weiner & Richeson, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA.

For MOEX OFFSHORE 2007, L.L.C., MOEX USA CORPORATION, def, Defendant - Appellee: John F. Pritchard, Frederick A. Brodie, Edward Flanders, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, L.L.P., New York, NY; Christopher McNevin, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA.

For STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, Amicus Curiae: Mary Jo Woods, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.

For STATE OF ALABAMA, Amicus Curiae, Corey L. Maze, Esq., Special Attorney to the Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General for the State of Alabama, Montgomery, AL.

For STATE OF LOUISIANA, Amicus Curiae: Allan L. Kanner, Esq., Kanner & Whiteley, L.L.C., New Orleans, LA; Henry Tutt Dart, Esq., Attorney, Covington, LA; Bradley Marten, Marten Law, P.L.L.C., Seattle, WA; Edmond Wade Shows, Shows, Cali & Walsh, L.L.P., Baton Rouge, LA; Thomas Allen Usry, Esq., Usry, Weeks & Matthews, A.P.L.C., New Orleans, LA.

Before JONES, BARKSDALE and SOUTHWICK, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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EDITH H. JONES, Circuit Judge:

Eleven Louisiana coastal parishes (the " Parishes" ) filed suits against BP and other defendants (" Appellees" )1 involved in the DEEPWATER HORIZON oil spill to recover penalties under The Louisiana Wildlife Protection Statute (" Wildlife Statute" ) for the pollution-related loss of aquatic life and wildlife. La. R.S. 56:40.1.2 Suits filed originally in state court were removed to federal court, which denied the Parishes' motions to remand and then dismissed all of the Parishes' claims as preempted by federal law. Both decisions are challenged in the Parishes' appeal. We concur with the district court that the state law claims were removable pursuant to the jurisdictional provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (" OCSLA" ). We also affirm their dismissal as preempted by federal law.

BACKGROUND

The Macondo well, which was being drilled by the mobile offshore drilling rig DEEPWATER HORIZON, experienced a catastrophic blowout and explosion in April 2010 and caused hydrocarbon, mineral, and other contaminant pollution all along the shores and estuaries of the Gulf Coast states, inflicting billions of dollars in property and environmental damage and spawning a litigation frenzy. Among the thousands of cases transferred for consolidated management by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to the Eastern District of Louisiana were the Parishes' lawsuits, some of which had been removed from state court. The district court handled

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cases filed by government entities, like the Parishes, in various groups according to their common issues. Considering first the remand motions filed by three of these Parishes, the court upheld its removal jurisdiction notwithstanding that the cases alleged only penalties accruing under state law for pollution damage that occurred in state waters or along the coastline.3 The court predicated federal court jurisdiction on 43 U.S.C. § 1349(b)(1)(A). See In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig " Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mex., on April 20, 2010 (In re: Oil Spill ), 747 F.Supp.2d 704, 708-09 (E.D. La. 2010). Next, considering various defendants' Motions to Dismiss the " B1" pleading bundle cases, filed for private or " non-governmental economic loss and property damages," the district court held that admiralty jurisdiction was present because the alleged tort occurred upon navigable waters and disrupted maritime commerce, and the operations of the DEEPWATER HORIZON, the vessel, bore a substantial relationship to maritime activity. In re: Oil Spill, 808 F.Supp.2d 943, 951 (E.D. La. 2011). The district court also held that state law was preempted by maritime law. Id. at 953-55. In a subsequent order concerning the " C" pleading bundle cases, brought by the states of Alabama and Louisiana, the court drew from its decision concerning the " B1" pleading bundle to hold that the states' wildlife actions are preempted by federal law. See In re: Oil Spill, MDL No. 2179, 2011 WL 5520295, at *3, 8 (E.D. La. Nov. 14, 2011). Finally, when considering the Local Government Entity Master Complaint and certain other cases within pleading bundle " C," the district court held, inter alia, that because the Parishes only asserted state law claims, which the district court already deemed preempted, the cases failed to state claims upon which relief could be granted and must be dismissed. In re: Oil Spill, 835 F.Supp.2d 175, 179-80 (E.D. La. 2011).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

" The district court's denial of...

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