Six major auto makers, includingCorp. and Motor Corp., defeat a California lawsuit that sought hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for damages caused to the state by greenhouse-gas emissions.
U.S. District Court Judge Martin J. Jenkins tossed out the lawsuit brought by the state’s attorney, saying any legal action in “the global warming thicket at this juncture would require a policy determination of the type reserved for political branches of government,” Reuters reports.
Other companies named in the lawsuit includedMotor Co., LLC, Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Filed in September, the suit sought compensation from the auto makers for allegedly accounting for 30% of the state’s carbon-dioxide emissions. The action was the first to try to hold auto makers responsible for global warming caused by greenhouse emissions.
Jenkins, however, granted the auto maker’s motion to dismiss, writing in his decision that the lawsuit left it to the court to decide what level of emissions would be unreasonable.
“Such an exercise would require the court to create a quotient or standard in order to quantify any potential damages that flow from defendants’ alleged act,” he writes. “The balance of those competing interests is the type of initial policy determination to be made by the political branches, and not this court.”
California Supervising Deputy Attorney General Ken Alex says the state might pursue an appeal on the grounds judges often decide reasonable standards in cases such as dumping pollution into rivers. The suit says the state spends million of dollars to deal with reduced snow pack, beach erosion, ozone pollution and the impact of emissions on some animals and fish.