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Corbello v. Iowa Production

Louisiana Supreme Court
850 So. 2d 686 (La. 2003)


Facts

The grandsons of Ferdinand Heyd (plaintiffs) executed an oil and gas lease to Shell Oil Corporation (Shell) (defendant). The lease required that Shell reasonably restore the property to the condition that the property was in prior to Shell’s use. The lease did not provide for any financial limit on this obligation. When the lease terminated, the plaintiffs informed Shell that Shell had breached the restoration provision in the lease. The plaintiffs brought suit against Shell for damages based upon this breach. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $33 million to restore the property. The court of appeal affirmed. Shell appealed, arguing that the market value of the entire property was only $108,000, and that the damages amount was thus excessive.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

Dissent (Victory, J.)

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