John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 9, 2013, 9:37am

GALVESTON - A Dallas attorney has filed a pair of lawsuits against Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC, Orion Construction LP, Coates Field Services Inc. and Project Consulting Services Inc., alleging the companies engaged in activities negatively affecting oyster harvests in Galveston Bay.

Mitchell E. McCrea of Baron & Budd P.C. in Dallas submitted original petitions on behalf of Texas resident Frances I. Jurisich, Jurisic & Sons Inc., Oysters R Us Inc. and Shrimps R Us Inc. to Galveston County District Court within the last week.

The suits show the plaintiffs have oyster leases "highly suitable for oyster cultivating and bedding purposes."

The plaintiffs assert that beginning in June 2010, the defendants conducted work on "a wellhead, rig and/or pipeline" near the areas of the bay they own beginning.

"(These) activities resulted in excessive siltation, damage to oysters and other harmful effects to the water and water bottoms on the aforementioned leases of the plaintiffs as well as severe damage to parts of the aforementioned leases of the plaintiffs, causing the plaintiffs to sustain losses," according to each complaint.

"The activities of the defendants named hereinabove were and continue to be, the sole and proximate cause of a dramatic increase in oyster mortality rates, and also caused, and continue to cause, severe damage to the plaintiffs' oyster crop and leases."

Consequently, the complainants sue for:

  • Damages to oysters and the oyster leases;

  • Restoration and/or replacement costs of natural resources damaged or destroyed; and

  • Loss of oyster revenues.

Each suit seeks more than $200,000 in damages.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the Jurisich suit while ORU and SRU's suit has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves.

Case Nos. 13-CV-867, 13-CV-878

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