Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Broussard v. Chevron USA, Inc.

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20251
Nos. 22-cv-01446, (W.D. La., 10/25/2013) (Minalid, J.)

A district court held that it would not waive the statute of limitations in a breach of contract case filed by the heirs of a cattle rancher against an oil company for contaminating the rancher's property. The suit stems from the company's oil and gas operations in the 1960s and 1970s. The statute of limitations or "prescription" period for a breach of contract claim in Louisiana is 10 years. Here, the suit was filed in 2011. The heirs claimed their father had no constructive knowledge of the contamination. But in 1971, some of the rancher's cattle died, and he filed monetary claims against the company for his loss. At that time, he knew that weed killer was responsible for killing some, but not all, of the cattle. He therefore had sufficient information to put him on notice that further inquiry was needed, an inquiry that likely would have revealed the presence of any contaminants on the land. As such, waiving the statute of limitations period is not appropriate.