Saturday, August 20, 2011

Climate linked Hurricane Katrina class action re-launched – new legalarguments

Home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina Gulfport, Mississippi
(Photo by Michele Sandusky)
Even after the dismissing ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut ”climate damage litigation is far from over”, says one of the best blogs in our field. New theories will be put forward.

What is the proof that climate change litigation will continue? On May 27, 2011 an old Hurricane Katrina File, Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., was re-launched, this time with over 90 named corporate defendants: “… oil companies, utilities and coal companies, and chemical companies claims in three counts of public and private nuisance, trespassing and negligence. But it also includes, almost as afterthoughts, a strict liability claim and a conspiracy claim. It concludes with a count for a declaratory judgment that federal law does not preempt state law claims.”

The plaintiffs do not argue about climate policy, but just go for damage compensation. Damages include indirect ones like lower real estate prices and increased insurance rates. This is not the only innovative argument. The plaintiffs also argue that the defendants increased the risks of damages instead of simply arguing that the defendants caused the damages. And again the insurance rates are taken as an indicator.

Update: Read what Obama is doing about climate change

1 comment:

  1. I wish they'd stop the arguments already. All that time and money could've been better spent helping people recover and prepare for the next storm. Honestly, why couldn't they give out something like philippine prudential life plans instead of trading barbs like kids?