Even though courts have rejected product-related public nuisance claims time and again, the broad misperception that public nuisance litigation led to the downfall of big tobacco and e-cigarette manufacturers has encouraged local governments, plaintiff’s attorneys and some courts across the nation to use it outside of its traditional function.
Delaware’s toxic exposure laws are similar to those passed by the Texas Legislature starting in 2005 to end abusive asbestos and silica litigation and prevent personal injury trial lawyers from unethically mass recruiting clients, while ensuring any Texan who is truly sick with an asbestos- or silica-related disease can quickly obtain their day in court.
Small business and community leaders are highlighting legislation that took effect on September 1 to strengthen our state’s legal system. Texas can and should do all it can to ensure our legal system functions fairly and efficiently for all Texans. These new laws build on Texas strong track record of improving the accountability, transparency and fairness in our legal system.
Activists are increasingly turning to public nuisance lawsuits to regulate a variety of legal activities and products, often at the expense of everyday consumers. By targeting various industries, including single-use plastic manufacturers and automakers, these lawsuits aim to impose significant changes on products that millions of people rely on.
Five more people involved in staged trucking accidents in the New Orleans area have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bringing the total to 60 convicted conspirators. The extent of fraudulent activity is staggering, with an estimated 150 staged truck accidents reported in the past few years.
An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal takes a deep dive on the increasing threat of public nuisance lawsuits, noting “Activist groups are increasingly attempting to use public-nuisance lawsuits to impose policies that they’ve failed to persuade lawmakers to enact. The list of industries under assault is long and growing.”
For shareholder derivative proceedings, actions related to an organization’s governance or internal affairs, claims under securities or trade regulation laws, and cases alleging breaches of duty by corporate owners and executives, the business court will have jurisdiction of cases with more than $5 million in controversy if the corporation is privately held. For publicly traded companies, it will have jurisdiction over any amount for those matters.
The court will have jurisdiction over actions arising from a contract or commercial transaction, provided the parties agreed to have the case heard by the business court’ and the amount in controversy exceeds $10 million dollars.
Trial lawyers urging the surge of climate change lawsuits against energy companies at the state and local levels are setting the stage for increased consumer energy costs and significant economic implications, all the while positioning themselves to make million-dollar payouts through litigation settlements.
In a hard-hitting piece criticizing the widespread proliferation of public nuisance lawsuits targeting energy companies, Josiah Neely, R Street Institute’s Senior Energy Fellow and Texas Director, says issues like climate change that shape national public policy should be addressed by legislatures or appropriate regulatory bodies, rather than the courts.