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|Settlement reached in Catahoula lawsuit|
A settlement was reached last week (April 5) in a lawsuit filed by a Catahoula Parish farming operation -- M J Farms LLC -- against Exxon and Tensas Delta Land and Exploration Company, according to Judge Glen Strong of Oak Grove, who presided in the Seventh Judicial District Court civil matter.
Details of the settlement have been sealed.
The trial was held at the convention center in Vidalia to accompany the large group of lawyers and court personnel taking part in the litigation.
M J Farms purchased approximately 42,000 acres of farmland situated in southern Catahoula Parish and northern Avoyelles Parish in 2005. This property was formerly a portion of Louisiana Delta Plantation.
In April 2006, M J Farms filed suit in Catahoula Parish asserting claims for environmental damage which it claimed occurred because of oil and gas exploration over the previous 60 years.
The judge said this litigation turned out to be "probably the largest case of its kind in the United States."
Strong was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to preside over the case due to the magnitude of the litigation and conflicts involving the two resident judges of the Seventh Judicial District.
A jury of 12 with three alternates was selected at the courthouse in Harrisonburg prior to the beginning of the trial at the convention center.
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