Judge: No Punitive Damages in Louisiana Wild Well Suit

June 15, 2011

A state district judge says sugar cane farmers cannot get punitive damages from a Texas-based well operator and a Louisiana oilfield service company in connection with a wild well that spewed oil and natural gas in Assumption Parish last year.

Gerald P. Thibodeaux and Sons Inc. filed one of five lawsuits against well owner Mantle Oil and Gas LLC.

The Advocate reports that Judge Jane Triche-Milazzo of the 23rd Judicial District ruled June 6 about punitive damages, and District Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. has a hearing June 20 on the same question in another lawsuit.

Compensatory damages pay for people’s actual losses, while punitive damages are meant to punish and deter bad conduct.

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