Climate Case Is Ninth Circuit’s Golden Opportunity on Nuisance Suits
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has an opportunity to redirect policy and push back on activist attorneys’ attempts to improperly expand public nuisance law. With Covid-19 public nuisance lawsuits coming, Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, discusses the importance of the climate change lawsuit.
Since early this year, the nation has been consumed by the coronavirus. While all eyes are appropriately on the virus, a case is pending in the Ninth Circuit that has the potential to restore balance to the nation’s legal system and impact a variety of industries across the country.
In City of Oakland v. BP Plc, the City of Oakland alleges that by producing the energy Americans need and use every day, oil and gas companies knowingly created the public nuisance of global climate change.
This appeal is part of a growing trend of liability expansion across the nation. Public nuisance lawsuits and the lawyers behind them aim to hold industry “responsible” for climate change, environmental spills and littering, the opioid epidemic, vaping, and now—the Covid-19 outbreak. In late April, a first-of-its-kind lawsuit was filed against Smithfield Foods in federal court blaming the company for contributing to the spread of Covid-19.
This “Insight” piece was originally published online by Bloomberg Law on May 14, 2020. It was reproduced with permission from © 2020 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) www.bloombergindustry.com.
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