AG Jeff Landry Achieves Win for Taxpayers, Vows to Continue Fight for Sportsmen
BATON ROUGE, LA – The Louisiana Supreme Court yesterday
decided in favor of Attorney General Jeff Landry’s request to reverse a lower
court’s decision in Crooks v. Louisiana Department of Natural
Resources, a ruling that protects taxpayers from a nearly $67 million
judgment against the State for the construction and operation of a
federally-funded lock and dam on Catahoula Lake.
“I thank our Justices for reaffirming the common-sense rule
that the clock for bringing a lawsuit against the State for a taking of private
property starts to tick when the property owner becomes aware of the alleged
tortious activity and resulting damages,” said General Landry. “Yesterday, the
Court reversed and dismissed the plaintiffs’ takings claims because they
knowingly waited over thirty years to bring their lawsuit.”
“This decision is a big win for the taxpayers of Louisiana and the agencies tasked with constructing and improving critical infrastructure across our State,” continued General Landry. “In addition to having $22.08 million in attorney’s fees struck down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, our team has now been able to save taxpayers $28.46 million in judicial interest on top of the $38.29 million damages award.”
“The fight is not over yet as the Supreme Court did not reverse the lower court’s reclassification of Catahoula Lake as a river, thus leaving some possible confusion regarding the accessibility of the Lake for public hunting and fishing,” concluded General Landry. “We will evaluate all our options, including a rehearing and legislation; and we continue to do all we legally can to protect the rights of sportsmen to both access and harvest from our State’s bountiful waters.”
A copy of the Supreme Court’s decision may be found below.