Description: Action brought by New York City against fossil fuel companies seeking damages for climate change-related injuries.
City of New York v. BP p.l.c.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/09/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. New York City Sues Five Largest Fossil Fuel Companies for Climate Change Damages. New York City filed a federal lawsuit against the five largest investor-owned fossil fuel producers seeking costs the City had incurred and would continue to incur to protect itself and its residents from the impacts of climate change. The City filed the lawsuit in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. The City alleged that the defendants “produced, marketed, and sold massive quantities of fossil fuels” despite knowing for many years that the use of fossil fuels caused emissions of greenhouse gas emissions that would accumulate and remain in the atmosphere for centuries, causing “grave harm.” The City alleged that the five defendants were responsible “for over 11% of all the carbon and methane pollution from industrial sources that has accumulated in the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution” and that the defendants also were responsible “for leading the public relations strategy for the entire fossil fuel industry, downplaying the risks of climate change and promoting fossil fuel use despite the risks.” The City charged that the defendants’ actions constituted an unlawful public and private nuisance and an illegal trespass on City property. The climate change-related injuries alleged by the City included more frequent and more intense heat waves, extreme precipitation, and sea level rise. In addition to money damages, the City seeks an equitable order ascertaining the damages and granting an injunction to abate the public nuisance and trespass should the defendants fail to pay the damages for past and permanent injuries.