By Kartikay Mehrotra, 16 March 2018
California cities and counties seeking to hold five of the largest oil companies accountable for their contribution to climate change through a trio of lawsuits will make their case in California state court, a judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria’s decision Friday in cases filed by San Mateo County, Marin County and the city of Imperial Beach conflicts with an order issued Feb. 28 by Judge William Alsup, who determined that cases filed by San Francisco and Oakland would remain in federal court.
Chhabria acknowledged Alsup’s ruling Friday, saying that a need to be heard in a federal court “no longer exists.” Similar lawsuits filed by Santa Cruz County and the cities of Santa Cruz and Richmond are also before Judge Chhabria and could also be remanded back to state court. Plaintiffs have argued that litigating the case in state court creates more favorable prospects than in federal court.