The ancient common tort of public nuisance is one of the most highly visible issues in modern tort jurisprudence. Its growth is particularly notable in climate change and environmental litigation, where it seems to be the “tort of choice” for plaintiffs seeking breathtakingly broad relief from global warming and trans-border pollution. Read More »
Author: Richard O. Faulk
Richard O. Faulk is the Chair of the Litigation Department of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, which maintains offices in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Texas, as well as in Mexico City. He also leads the firm’s Climate Change Task Force and the firm’s Environmental Practice Group.
Mr. Faulk concentrates his personal practice in complex environmental litigation, including class actions and "mass tort" cases with international impacts. He is a board-certified specialist in federal and state appellate practice, and has argued cases before numerous federal and state trial and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is experienced and widely published on the complex problems raised by CERCLA litigation and the rights and remedies of persons dealing with contaminated properties. Read More »
For those who may be following the California Supreme Court proceedings on the propriety of government entities retaining private outside counsel on a contingent fee basis to pursue public nuisance actions, you can check on the progress of the case at the court's online docket.
Can one state's elected officials force companies, or even legislatively enacted authorities, located in another state to comply with its enacted laws and regulations? If you think not, you should be following the public nuisance case filed by North Carolina's attorney general against the Tennessee Vally Authority ("TVA") over cross-border pollution.
According to North Carolina's Attorney General, any facility, located anywhere, whose emissions do or may find their way into North Carolina should comply with North Carolina's more stringent pollution standards or shut down. While the court has heard oral argument, it is still unknown if this misapplication of public nuisance law will succeed.
Whatever happened to seeking a legislative solution?
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