Description: Action by a commercial fishing industry trade group to hold fossil fuel companies liable for adverse climate change impacts to the ocean off the coasts of California and Oregonthat resulted in "prolonged closures" of Dungeness crab fisheries.
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Inc. v. Chevron Corp.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/14/2018 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Fishing Trade Group Sued Fossil Fuel Companies for Climate Change Damage. A commercial fishing industry trade group filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court seeking to hold fossil fuel companies liable for adverse climate change impacts to the ocean off the coasts of California and Oregon that resulted in “prolonged closures” of Dungeness crab fisheries. The plaintiff alleged that the companies had known for decades that use of their products could be “catastrophic” and that “only a narrow window existed” for action before consequences would be irreversible. The plaintiff asserted the companies took actions to obscure the harms and avoid regulation, while still acknowledging and planning for climate change’s consequences internally. The plaintiff contended that the companies’ actions prevented the development of alternatives that could have eased the transition to a less fossil fuel-dependent economy. The complaint contains five causes of action: nuisance, strict liability for failure to warn, strict liability for design defect, negligence, and negligent failure to warn. The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, equitable relief including abatement of the nuisance, punitive damages, disgorgement of profits, and attorneys’ fees and costs.