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Clean Air Act Ruling May Curb Suits

Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to re-hear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could be a major hurdle for plaintiffs in...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Clean Air Act Suit and War of Words Ensues

On February 3, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear en banc a decision handed down last October by a three-judge panel, thereby leaving in place a decision that could significantly...more

EARL e-News: South Carolina Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Carnival Cruise Lines - Updates on Environmental,...

On January 22, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court granted Carnival Corporation d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by several citizen groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The Court held...more

The Eyes of Texas are upon a Subsurface Trespass Case

The Texas Supreme Court is now poised to decide whether subsurface migration of fluids from an approved injection well may constitute an actionable trespass under Texas common law. Recently accepting a petition for review in...more

Citizens Are Not Harmed By the Concept of Pollution Trading: A Challenge to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Is Dismissed

On December 13, the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed plaintiffs’ challenge in Food and Water Watch v. EPA to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL’s discussion of pollution trading and offsets. As I had previously...more

Differentiating Between Junk Science and Admissible Expert Opinion in Pennsylvania

In environmental personal injury cases, proof of causation is key and that causation almost always hinges on expert opinion. A recent appellate decision in Pennsylvania in Snizavich v. Rohm and Haas Company provides useful...more

"The Weakest Link For Climate Change Plaintiffs"

In a case seeking to compel the Washington Department of Ecology and two regional agencies in the state of Washington to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the...more

Texas High Court Set to Hear Appeal on Viability of Post-Cleanup Stigma Damages in Environmental Contamination Claim

In an issue of first impression in Texas, the state’s highest court will hear arguments in December 2013 in a case involving a party’s claim to recover stigma damages following the cleanup of environmental contamination to...more

Litigation Risks in Texas Are Reduced –The Merits of New Trial Orders by Texas Courts Are Now Subject to Appellate Review

Significant oil and gas exploration and development has occurred and continues to occur in South Texas. Whenever an injury, death, or environmental damage results from these operations, a defendant energy company have often...more

Despite Bell, State Law CO2 Liability Claims Are Doomed

“Therefore, the court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

Another Judicial Assault On GHG Emissions

The federal courts barred federal common law nuisance actions to obtain money damages or injunctive relief. American Elec. Power Co. v. Connecticut, 131 S. Ct. 2527 (2011)(holding nuisance claims seeking injunctive relief...more

Whatever Happened To State Law Carbon Dioxide Liability Claims? Still No Music After Bell

“Therefore, the Court declines to assert supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims which are dismissed without prejudice to their presentation in a state court action.” So ends the last analytical...more

The Ninth Circuit Dismisses Suit on Greenhouse Gas Regulation: Science Not Sufficient To Support Causal Link To Plaintiffs’ Injury

On October 17, 2013, the Ninth Circuit ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to consider a challenge to Washington’s failure to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the state’s five oil refineries under the Clean Air Act....more

Lone Pine Orders Called Into Question In Colorado

A Lone Pine order is a case management tool often utilized by courts in complex multi-party toxic tort cases to organize plaintiffs’ claims and to focus the parties on key issues early in the litigation. A Lone Pine order...more

Third Circuit Holds “Source State” Common Law Tort Claims Not Preempted by Federal Clean Air Act

In an opinion filed on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held that the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) does not preempt common law tort claims grounded in state law and brought against a...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Tort Litigation: Global Warming Litigation Goes Cold

Within a matter of just a few days, the federal courts put an end to climate change litigation, including one case that had originated in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....more

Georgia Court Of Appeals Upholds Class Certification In Air Pollution Case

The Georgia Court of Appeals, on July 16, issued its opinion affirming the Effingham County Superior Court’s decision to certify a class consisting of the owners of properties neighboring Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River...more

Environmental Nuisance Claims — It Helps To Have Experts

The old warning that “past performance is no guarantee of future results” apparently applies not only to investments but also to environmental nuisance suits in Tennessee. ...more

Time-Barred Claim? Fourth Circuit Invalidates State Statute of Repose in Contamination Cases

On July 10, 2013, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERLCA or Superfund), the federal law redressing disposal of...more

Colorado Ruling Raises Stakes in Fracking Litigation and Beyond

In an Independence Day gift to plaintiffs, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., No. 12CA1251 (July 3, 2013), that Colorado law does not allow pre-discovery Lone Pine orders, often used by...more

Jarndyce v. Jarndyce Has Nothing On Comer v. Murphy Oil: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal

Readers of this blog will recall the bizarre history of Comer v. Murphy Oil. In 2005, Plaintiffs brought tort claims against major GHG emitters, claiming that those emissions, by causing global warming, led to plaintiffs’...more

Ontario Court Dismisses “Speculative” Challenge to a Prospective Wind Turbine Project

In Wiggins v. WPD Canada Corporation, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims for injunctive relief and $16.6 million in damages against a prospective (not yet approved) wind turbine project,...more

Texas Court Allows Defamation Claim Against Landowner to Proceed

On Monday, Texas’s Second District Court of Appeals partially affirmed a District Court order allowing Range Resources Corporation’s (“Range”) defamation and business disparagement claims against a landowner to...more

Native Village Of Kivalina Files Its Petition For Certiorari - A Five-Year Climate Change Litigation Marathon That Has Yet To...

One day short of five years since the case was originally filed, on February 25, 2013 the plaintiffs in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp. attempt once more to get out of the starting blocks, this time with a...more

Is CERCLA More Reasonable Than the Common Law? Only in California, I Hope

In Burlington Northern, the Supreme Court made clear that, in order to impose liability on a defendant as an “arranger” under Superfund for the sale of a product, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant "must have...more

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