A real estate developer has sued a Louisianabased law firm alleging that the firm failed to perform an environmental assessment which would have revealed that land it purchased for development was part of a World War II-era bombing range. Coves of the Highland Cmty. Dev. Dist. v. McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, No. 09-7251 (E.D. La. 05/07/10). The complaint alleges legal malpractice, securities fraud, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty; the plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Plaintiff retained defendant in 2006 to assist in organizing a development district and securing $7.7 million in bond financing to purchase a 324-acre property in eastern Louisiana to build a residential community. According to the complaint, defendant simply replaced names and numbers on documents it had used for previous projects and “did little to tailor the plan to the special circumstances of the planned development.” In March 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice about its investigation of unexploded ordinance on the former bombing range, including the property purchased for development. In April 2009, development was halted until unexploded ordinance was cleaned up, and, as a result, plaintiff defaulted on its bonds.