“How Justices' Baltimore Ruling May Affect Other Climate Suits,” Law360

“How Justices' Baltimore Ruling May Affect Other Climate Suits,” Law360

November 5, 2020

“Hoboken is the 20th municipality, state or private organization to sue the fossil fuel industry over climate change since 2017, and the fifth local jurisdiction to sue for alleged climate-related fraud,” Scott M. Press writes in Law360. “The city’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants have known for decades that the fossil fuels that the defendants extract, produce, market and sell to the public are causing accelerating climate change, and that the defendants deceived the public about their central role in causing such harm.”

Scott, an associate in Goldberg Segalla’s Environmental Law group, explains in the article that like many other climate change lawsuits—including the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in BP PLC v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore—Hoboken asserts state common law claims against the defendants for public nuisance, private nuisance, trespass, and negligence. He also notes that the common approach for defendants in climate change matters has been to remove the cases to federal court and a number of federal appeals courts have weighed in on the removal issue.

“Shortly after the commencement of Hoboken’s lawsuit, Connecticut and Delaware filed separate climate change suits against the fossil fuel industry, and the city of Charleston, South Carolina, filed its own suit,” Scott writes. “It is clear that despite earlier setbacks, states and municipalities will continue to develop new legal strategies to seek redress against fossil fuel companies for the alleged harm caused by climate change. This litigation could take years—or decisions may come sooner. All eyes will be on the Supreme Court when it hears arguments regarding the jurisdictional issue in the Baltimore case, as the decision has the potential to cause a significant increase or decrease in the filing of new climate change lawsuits.”


How Justices’ Baltimore Ruling May Affect Other Climate Suits,” Law360, November 4, 2020


Scott M. Press focuses his practice on complex litigation involving environmental law and land use, representing clients in environmental litigation claims, regulatory and compliance counseling, and enforcement. Scott provides clients with an in-depth knowledge of state and federal environmental regulations including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act, and others. He routinely handles complex environmental litigation matters, as well as regulatory enforcement and compliance matters including hazardous waste, site remediation and federal and state cost recovery and contribution claims. He also litigates matters involving contamination and exposure to chemicals and substances such as lead, PFAs, 1,4-Dioxane, TCE, and mold, and advises clients in environmental due diligence related to the purchase and sale of commercial property.