|Home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina Gulfport, Mississippi|
(Photo by Michele Sandusky)
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.