2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite: Common Law Lawsuits by Municipalities in the Name of Climate Change
Session 17: Common Law Lawsuits by Municipalities in the Name of Climate Change
Is Climate Change the next Big Tobacco? A wave of lawsuits in California seeks to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contribution to climate change. In 2017, the Counties of San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Cruz, and the Cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Imperial Beach, and Santa Cruz filed complaints against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies under theories including public nuisance, private nuisance, strict liability for design defect and failure to warn, negligence, and trespass.
Will courts apply these ancient legal doctrines to this modern existential threat? What are the hurdles and complexities in this emerging area of climate law?
James M. Birkelund, Greenfire Law, PC, Berkeley
Ann Carlson, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles
David E. Cranston, Greenberg Glusker LLP, Los Angeles
Vic Sher, Sher Edling LLP, San Francisco