County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp & City of Oakland v. BP PLC
County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp & City of Oakland v. BP PLC (U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit, May 26, 2020): In companion cases brought by California cities and counties, the Ninth Circuit denied energy companies’ requests to move climate change lawsuits to federal court holding neither suit raises federal claims. The cases raised claims of public nuisance (Oakland, San Mateo) and other state law claims (San Mateo), arising generally from the energy companies’ production of fossil fuels, contributing to rising seas and costly coastal flooding. The court concluded in Oakland that the federal district court erred in holding that it had jurisdiction over the claims. It held in part that the federal Clean Air Act does not completely preempt state common law claims of public nuisance. In San Mateo, the court affirmed that the federal district court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction under the federal-officer removal statute (which allows removal of civil cases against persons acting under the authority of a federal officer from state to federal court). An arm’s length business arrangement with the federal government is insufficient to meet this standard. Read the County of San Mateo decision here. Read the City of Oakland decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2020.