NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana appeals court says a pipeline company trampled on landowners' property rights by building a pipeline before getting proper legal authority.
However, the judges rejected attempts to overturn a state law letting pipeline companies expropriate land.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles awarded $10,000 each on Thursday to three people out of hundreds who own a 38-acre tract in St. Martin Parish.
One judge dissented, saying there was no constitutional violation.
He noted that if the three had appealed the trial judge's award of $75 each for trespassing, he would have had no trouble increasing it to discourage the sort of bad behavior shown by Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC.