DA Keith Stutes, who represents the 15th Judicial District, filed a lawsuit on Thursday following erosion and flooding issues in Vermilion Parish. 45 different oil companies are named in the suit, which will be handled by Richard Broussard, a partner in the Lafayette law firm of Broussard & David.

KPEL's Rob Kirkpatrick and Bernadette Lee of "Acadiana's Morning News" questions Broussard, who grew up in Vermilion Parish, about why the lawsuit has been filed.

Broussard begins the discussion by taking you back to 1978 when the Coastal Zone Resource Management Act was made into law, which outlined proper processes that oil companies need to follow. He says, over time, some companies have been complying and some haven't.

Broussard answered other questions from Rob and Bernie such as:

  • Why is the lawsuit being brought now and not earlier?
  • What has the reaction been from people in Vermilion Parish to the announcement of the lawsuit?
  • How do you differentiate between those who just want a settlement and those who really care about the environment?
  • Will there ever be a list that's put out there to show which oil companies are following protocol and which ones aren't?
  • Who has the burden of proving their side?
  • How do you separate how the damage being done to the coast has to do with natural disasters or the oil and gas industry?