Big win for global-warming litigators

by Walter Olson on September 23, 2009

A Second Circuit panel, reversing the district court judge, says a suit against utilities can go forward characterizing carbon dioxide as a nuisance. [American Lawyer, Point of Law first, second, third posts]

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09.23.09 at 9:19 am
Wednesday, September 23, 2009: Daily Handpicked Headlines :: Daily Uprising
09.23.09 at 12:28 pm
09.23.09 at 5:45 pm


1 Bob Lipton 09.23.09 at 8:41 am

Let’s see. First I’ll sue the restaurants I eat at for producing garbage…..


2 Richard Nieporent 09.23.09 at 9:06 am

Back in June, we were nearly ready to write off efforts to hold polluters liable for climate change via litigation. That’s when California dropped its claims against six car companies, ending the state’s three-year fight to extract hundreds of millions of dollars from the auto industry for allegedly contributing to global warming.

Yes it is very sad that their first attempt at extortion failed. But never fear. The legal profession will not give up until they get their pound of flesh.

Needless to say, Pawa was very excited about the Second Circuit reinstating the cases. “In light of this decision, there’s no way [for the defendants] to get out of these cases.”

Of course he was excited thinking of the large fee he will make if this litigation is successful. Of course it isn’t the power companies that will ultimately pay. It is their customers.

3 Todd Rogers 09.23.09 at 9:36 am

Proposed billing line item:
Litigation/Carbon Offset Surcharge ——————————————– $3.98

4 L.C. Burgundy 09.23.09 at 10:34 am

Well I agree that what comes out of a lot of lawyers’ mouths should be classified as a nuisance.

5 Jim Collins 09.23.09 at 10:51 am

So does this mean that we can sue large law firms for their carbon output?

6 Ed 09.23.09 at 12:16 pm

The answer is simple. The utilities being sued just need to shut down all emitting plants for one week.

7 Crash 09.24.09 at 9:21 am

So who will be the first enterprising lawyer to initiate a lawsuit on behalf of the plant kingdom for artificially restricting access to the precious carbon dioxide that give its members life?

8 Mikee 09.24.09 at 5:13 pm

If I were the judge I would state that the utilities can be enjoined to halt carbon emissions for as long as the plaintiffs and their lawyers canhold their breaths, but only if the utilities can do so without incurring cost to consumers. Then I would tell the plaintiffs to take a deep breath and hold it. Then when they either faint or die, I would tell the utilities what the time of breath holding was. Then I would ask the utilities if they could stop making CO2 for that long without cost to consumers. When they say of course not, I would say the case was over.

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