Description: Lawsuit seeking to hold fossil fuel companies liable for the impacts of climate change on the City of Charleston.
City of Charleston v. Brabham Oil Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/09/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Charleston Filed Suit Against Fossil Fuel Companies Alleging Their Responsibility for “Devastating” Climate Change Impacts. The City of Charleston filed an action in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas against fossil fuel companies asserting that they are responsible for “devastating adverse” climate change impacts on Charleston and its residents. The alleged impacts included flooding, inundation, erosion, and beach loss due to sea level rise; “more frequent, longer-lasting and more severe” extreme weather events; and resulting social, economic, and other consequences. The conduct alleged to be a substantial factor in causing the impacts includes failure to warn of threats posed by fossil fuel products, wrongful promotion of fossil fuels and concealment of known hazards, “public deception campaigns designed to obscure the connection” between the defendants’ products and climate change, and failure to pursue less hazardous alternatives. The City asserted claims of public and private nuisance, strict liability for failure to warn, negligent failure to warn, and trespass, as well as violations of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act. The City sought compensatory damages, treble damages under the Unfair Trade Practices Act, equitable relief, attorneys’ fees, punitive damages, disgorgement of profits, and costs of suit.