Climate cases keep landing in state court. Why it matters
Judges across the country have now determined that climate lawsuits against oil and gas companies belong in state courts, writes Jennifer Hijazi of E&E News.
But whether climate lawsuits constitute tort claims at all has been a major point of contention in and out of the courtroom.
Oil companies should not be targeted for doing lawful business, said American Tort Reform Association President Sherman “Tiger” Joyce.
“You’re talking about energy, you’re talking about companies in an industry … that is obviously national in scope,” he said. “To say that this is interstate commerce is an understatement.”
He argued that tort expansion — like what the climate litigants propose — creates liability after the fact that is especially unfair for an industry that is already heavily regulated.
“To hold someone responsible for something — whether it’s a criminal act or whether it’s civil liability — we believe that there should be notice in advance,” he said. “You should know what the rules of the road are.”
ATRA praises the passage of HB 6030 in Michigan, enacting COVID-19 liability protections.
ATRA’s statement on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s ruling in Hammons v. Ethicon to allow an out-of-state lawsuit to continue, openly defying SCOTUS precedent.
Amanda Bronstad with Law.com writes about the potential repercussions if the 2019 $465 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson stands.
ATRA files amicus brief in support of Johnson & Johnson’s decision to appeal a 2019 $465 million judgment against the company, warning against the state attorney general’s expansive use of public nuisance law.
ATRA President Tiger Joyce spoke with Juliette Farley of the Southern California Record about Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week and business interruption lawsuits.