GLOBAL MARKETING SOLUTIONS, L.L.C.
CHEVRON U.S.A. INC., EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, KEY PRODUCTION COMPANY, INC., SEAL ENERGY COMPANY, AND WARREN OPERATING COMPANY
Appealed from the 18th Judicial District Court In
and for the Parish of West Baton Rouge State of Louisiana
Case No. 1044039 The Honorable Alvin Batiste, Judge Presiding
T. Carmouche Victor L. Marcello John H. Carmouche William R.
Coenen, III Brian T. Carmouche Todd J. Wimberley Ross J.
Donnes D. Adele Owen Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Richard J.
Ward, Jr. Maringouin, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant Global Marketing Solutions, L.L.C.
Michael R. Phillips Claire E. Juneau Jeffrey J. Gelpi New
Orleans, Louisiana and L. Victor Gregoire Baton Rouge,
Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Chevron U.S.A., Inc.
Norman Kelly Brechtel Becker James E. Lapeze Kathryn Zainey
Gonski New Orleans, Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Exxon Mobile Corporation
M. Culpepper New Orleans, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant/Appellee Key Production Company, Inc.
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, PENZATO, AND LANIER, JJ.
appeal, plaintiff, Global Marketing Solutions, L.L.C.
("Global"), challenges the district court's
judgment sustaining the peremptory exceptions raising the
objection of res judicata filed by defendants,
Chevron U.S.A., Inc. ("Chevron"), Exxon Mobil
Corporation ("Exxon"), and Key Production Company,
Inc. ("Key"), resulting in the dismissal of
Global's claims against defendants, with prejudice. For
the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
underlying history of this case is familiar to this court as
it has previously been before us on numerous occasions,
dating back to 2010. Pertinent to the instant appeal is our
prior holding in Global Marketing Solutions, LLC v. Blue
Mill Farms, Inc., 2013-2132 (La.App. 1 Cir. 9/19/14),
153 So.3d 1209, writ denied, 2014-2572 (La.
4/23/15), 173 So.3d 1164 ("Global I").
to the record, Global owns 144 acres of land located in the
Bayou Choctaw Oil & Gas Field ("Global Tract").
Global alleges that after purchasing the Global Tract, it
discovered that both the surface and subsurface soils and
waters of the land had been contaminated by various forms of
toxic waste from drilling operations that had been conducted
since at least the 1930s. At no time did Global possess
mineral rights to the land. The mineral rights had been
severed years prior by various mineral leases beginning in
the 1930s. Through investigation and discovery, Global
learned that the defendants were mineral lessees at various
points in the land's history and had conducted drilling
March 2006, Global filed suit naming as defendants Chevron,
Exxon, and Key, among others, asserting contract and tort
claims. According to Global, the various defendants were
responsible for the contamination of the property at issue.
Among other things, Global alleged the following: (1) the
land in the Global Tract was contaminated by the defendants
as a result of the operation of oil and gas wells at varying
times, and under various mineral leases, from 1942 through
2005; (2) the named defendants were negligent and strictly
liable; (3) the defendants were in breach of their oil, gas,
and mineral leases; (4) the defendants were contractually
obligated under the leases to restore the property to its
original condition and failed to do so, causing damage to the
property; (5) the defendants breached the standards imposed
by the Louisiana Civil Code and the Louisiana Mineral Code in
failing to act as prudent administrators and failing to
restore Global's property to its original condition; and
(6) the defendants who were owners of a mineral interest or
servitude were obligated to restore the property to its
original condition pursuant to La. R.S. 31:22.
subsequent supplemental and amending petition, Global added a
paragraph alleging that one or more mineral servitude owners
for the Global Tract had assigned to Global 99 percent of
their claims for damages caused by the oilfield operations on
the Global Tract. Global sought to pursue claims against
Chevron, Exxon, Key, and other defendants based upon
assignments by three mineral servitude owners, Priscilla
Davis Gravely, Mary G. Rutrough, and Georgi Davis Duwe.
response to Global's suit, Chevron, Exxon, Key, and other
defendants filed various exceptions including no right of
action and no cause of action objections, as well as motions
for summary judgment. Following a hearing on the various
exceptions, the district court denied the no right of action
objection and motions for summary judgment. In reaching its
ruling, the district court relied on the opinion of this
court found in Marin v. Exxon Mobil Corporation,
2008-1724 (La.App. 1 Cir. 9/30/09) 2009WL7004332 (unpublished
opinion), which, at the time, was under review by the
Louisiana Supreme Court.
the district court's ruling, the defendants applied for
supervisory writs of review with this court, which were
denied with the stipulation that defendants be allowed to
re-urge their exceptions should the Marin case be reversed by
the supreme court. The defendants subsequently applied for
supervisory writs to the supreme court. In the interim, Marin
was reversed, Marin v. Exxon Mobil Corporation,
2009-2368 (La. 10/19/10), 48 So.3d 234, as was a similar case
out of the fourth circuit court of appeal, Eagle Pipe and
Supply, Inc. v. Amerada Hess Corporation, 2010-2267
(La. 10/25/11), 79 So.3d 246. Thus, the supreme court granted
the defendants' writs and remanded the case to the
district court for reconsideration of its previous ruling in
light of the Eagle Pipe decision.
defendants re-urged their motions, and on May 29, 2013, the
matter came before the district court on remand. After
hearing argument from the parties, the district court ruled
from the bench as follows:
[I]t is the same thing that you have here with Global being
the subsequent purchaser, and there's no dispute as to
any of the facts, I think, in this case, Global being the
subsequent purchaser, that an absent - an assignment or a
stipulation pour autrui will have no right to sue for damages
that were caused to the property. And we're talking about
damages in terms of tort or contract, any damages that occur
to the property prior to their purchasing the property. It
would have been incumbent upon those owners at that time to
seek any damages that were owed to the property.
The probably more troubling issues with regard to the
assignment of the mineral leases, which again are not in
dispute, that it occurred at the time that leases were no
longer in existence or had been terminated or had expired.
And so just limiting the Court's decision based on that
narrow issue of the law, the Court will also find that due to
the fact that the assignment took place after the expiration
of leases that the assignments, therefore, are not effective.
I will adopt and incorporate, by reference, the reasons set
forth in the briefs of the defendant, also along with the
oral reasons given today in court as the basis for the
Court's ruling in this matter granting the motions for
judgment signed on June 24, 2013, the district court granted
the motions for summary judgment in favor of the defendants,
dismissing Global's claims, with prejudice. The district
court noted that the new judgment was made in light of the
Eagle Pipe decision. Global appealed, arguing, among other
things, that the trial court erred "in failing to find