USA: Judge rules state courts are appropriate for hearing California communities' climate lawsuits against fossil fuel companies

Author: David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News (USA), Published on: 22 March 2018

"Climate Legal Paradox: Judges Issue Dueling Rulings for Cities Suing Fossil Fuel Companies", 20 Mar 2018

Five cities and counties in California that are suing fossil fuel companies for damages triggered by climate change are now at the center of a legal paradox...The judicial collision course was set ...when a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that climate change lawsuits...were best adjudicated in California state courts...[A]nother federal court judge ruled that a similar climate case, brought by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, should be tried in federal court...Both lawsuits are anchored in California public nuisance law...Hearing the cases in state court gives the cities and counties an edge because California has a stronger public nuisance law than the federal court system, legal experts say...U.S. District Court Judge Vincent Chhabria decided California state courts were the appropriate setting for the climate lawsuits brought by San Mateo and Marin counties...and the City of Imperial Beach...The oil and gas companies maintained the lawsuits raised issues more closely related to federal laws than state laws...But Chhabria was not moved by those arguments...Chhabria stayed his order for six weeks to give the oil and gas companies time to file an appeal...

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