From the “It’s dead Jim” department comes this ruling from the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, and Judge Alsup:
Some excerpts of the ruling:
The question is therefore whether or not plaintiffs’ alleged harm — namely, the effects of global warming-induced sea level rise — would have occurred even absent each defendant’s respective California-related activities. It is manifest that global warming would have continued in the absence of all California-related activities of defendants. Plaintiffs have therefore failed to adequately link each defendants’ alleged California activities to plaintiffs’ harm.
As earlier orders have pointed out, plaintiffs’ nuisance claims depend on a global complex of geophysical cause and effect involving all nations of the planet. Ocean rise, as far as plaintiffs contend, would have occurred even without regard to each defendant’s California contacts.
Lacking, however, is a causal chain sufficiently connecting plaintiffs’ harm and defendants’ California activities.
Finally, plaintiffs advocate for a less stringent standard of “but for” causation in light of the liability rules underlying public nuisance claims. Such an argument has been rejected by our court of appeals, which has instructed that “liability is not to be conflated with amenability to suit in a particular forum.”
For the same reasons discussed above, however, plaintiffs do not satisfy this third requirement. Even taking plaintiffs’ allegations as true, they have failed to show that BP or Royal Dutch Shell’s national conduct was a “but for” cause of their harm.
For the reasons stated above, defendants’ motions to dismiss pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(2) are GRANTED.
You can read the court order here: