Court: Toppled rig’s owners can’t sue Coast Guard contractor

Louisiana News

FILE – In this March 31, 2015, file aerial photo, the wake of a supply vessel heading towards a working platform crosses over an oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. A federal appeals court says the owner of Gulf of Mexico oil wells broken in 2004 cannot demand damages from a federal contractor who says his equipment has captured enough oil to fill scores of tank trucks. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, July 1, 2021, upheld a district court ruling that Taylor Energy Co. LLC cannot sue Couvillion Group LLC for trespass. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court says the owner of Gulf of Mexico oil wells broken in 2004 cannot demand damages from a federal contractor who says his equipment has captured enough oil to fill scores of tank trucks.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a district court ruling that Taylor Energy Co. LLC cannot sue Couvillion Group LLC for trespass.

Taylor did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Coast Guard hired Couvillion in 2018 to contain the spill.

The ruling says the contract immunizes the company against trespass charges. The spill began when Hurricane Ivan toppled a Taylor platform off Louisiana.

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