- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Eight lawsuits have been filed by people seeking damages from a Texas industrial services company that spilled about 12,500 gallons of crude oil in March along and into the Bayou Teche.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1Td2o2M ) the suits against Houston-based PSC Industrial Outsourcing were filed in April in state court in St. Mary Parish, where the spill occurred. The suits were transferred this week to U.S. District Court in Lafayette.

The U.S. Coast Guard has said about 12,500 gallons of crude oil flowed through an open valve and spilled onto the surrounding land and some of it into the nearby bayou.

Julie Lebourgeois and her husband live on property along Chitimacha Trail, a roadway that borders the contaminated area of the Bayou Teche. They are plaintiffs.

“We, on our property, still have oil,” Lebourgeois said. “We are concerned about long-term damage because we don’t know what it will do.”

She said her husband’s garden tools get contaminated with oil when he works in the yard. She complained she can no longer enjoy sitting on her back porch because the fumes from the spill affect her asthma.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which oversaw the cleanup, is investigating the incident.

A no-wake restriction remains in place for boaters travelling along the waterway.

The plaintiffs seek damages for contamination to property, groundwater and aquifers; contamination to wildlife, ground and vegetation; property devaluation; and punitive damages against the company.

PSC representatives have not commented on the case.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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