Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
June 2, 2021, Decided; June 2, 2021, Filed
CIVIL CASE NO. 3:20-cv-1555 (JCH)
RULING ON MOTION TO REMAND (DOC. NO. 36)
Plaintiff, the State of Connecticut, has moved for an order remanding the case to the Superior Court of Connecticut and awarding costs and attorneys' fees. See Pl.'s. Mot. to Remand to Superior Court and for Costs and Fees ("Pl.'s Mot.") (Doc. No. 36). Defendant, Exxon Mobil Corporation ("ExxonMobil") opposes this Motion. See Br. of Def. in Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. [*2] to Remand ("Def.'s Opp'n") (Doc. No. 37). The court heard argument in connection with the Motion on May 21, 2021. See Min. Entry (Doc. No. 51).
For the reasons stated below, the court grants the Motion to Remand and denies Connecticut's request for costs and fees.
A. Allegations in the Complaint
ExxonMobil is a "multinational energy and chemicals company" incorporated in New Jersey, with its principal place of business in Texas. Ex. 12, Notice of Removal ("Compl.") (Doc. 1-2 at 34-78) ¶ 47.1 ExxonMobil manufactures, transports, and sells a variety of fossil fuels, such as crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. Id. ¶¶ 53-54. ExxonMobil has sold substantial quantities of fossil fuels in Connecticut, including through gas stations. Id. ¶¶ 59-60.
At least as early as 1957, ExxonMobil has been aware of research indicating that the combustion of fossil fuels causes dangerous changes to the Earth's climate. Id. ¶¶ 63-95. This research includes materials created by Exxon's own employees warning that emissions attributable to fossil fuels "would cause climate variations including a mean temperature increase." Id. ¶¶ 64, 68-70.
In an effort to resist potential decreases in its [*3] revenue that might result from widespread acceptance of the conclusion ExxonMobil itself understood--the causal connection between the combustion of fossil fuels and climate change--ExxonMobil published statements casting doubt on this connection. Id. ¶¶ 96-167. These statements took various forms, including advertisements, interviews, and research papers. Id. ¶¶ 100-03. For example, between 1972 and 2001, ExxonMobil published advertisements in the New York Times, a newspaper circulated to tens of thousands of Connecticut residents, nearly every week. Id. ¶¶ 137-39. One such advertisement, published in 1984, disparaged a scientific theory linking fossils fuels to melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels as "[l]ies they tell our children" and a "myth of the 1960s and 1970s." Id. ¶ 144(a). Another, published in 1997, warned readers that efforts to respond to the threat of climate change were based on "speculation" and not on "science." Id. ¶ 144(h).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111334 *; 51 ELR 20098; 2021 WL 2389739
STATE OF CONNECTICUT, Plaintiff, v. EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, Defendant.
removal, federal common law, preemption, fossil, fuels, federal court, federal law, well-pleaded, courts, deceptive, federal issue, consumers, argues, state claims, cases, cause of action, state law, federal statute, climate, costs, court concludes, district court, federal enclaves, unfair practice, decisions, parties, Notice, doctrine of preemption, federal jurisdiction, consumer protection
Civil Procedure, Removal, Specific Cases Removed, Federal Questions, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Diversity of Citizenship, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Federal Questions, Well Pleaded Complaint Rule, Elements for Removal, Removability, Diversity Jurisdiction, Citizenship, Individuals, Federal Venue, Antitrust & Trade Law, Trade Practices & Unfair Competition, State Regulation, Claims, Torts, Business Torts, Unfair Business Practices, Elements, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, State Regulation, Scope, Federal & State Interrelationships, Federal Common Law, Preemption, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Federal Preemption, Applicability, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Jurisdiction on Certiorari, Considerations Governing Review, State Court Decisions, Banking Law, Bank Activities, Loans, Interest on Loans, Contracts Law, Defenses, Usury, Banking & Finance, National Banks, Usury Litigation, Federal Acts, National Bank Act, Interest & Usury, Rate & Recovery of Interest, Regulated Industries, Communications, Telecommunications Act, Communications Law, Telecommunications Act, Governments, Courts, Authority to Adjudicate, Regulated Practices, Private Actions, Cases Involving Federal Officers, Admiralty & Maritime Law, Maritime Workers' Claims, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Business & Corporate Compliance, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Congressional Duties & Powers, District of Columbia & Federal Property, Copyright Law, Constitutional Copyright Protections, Copyright Clause, War Powers Clause, Jurisdiction, Amount in Controversy, Alienage Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Requirements, Parties, Real Party in Interest, Subrogees, Judicial Officers, Judges, Discretionary Powers, Postremoval Remands, Motions for Remand, Attorney Fees & Expenses, Basis of Recovery, Statutory Awards