Description: Lawsuit brought by New Jersey officials against fossil fuel industry defendants seeking damages and other relief in connection with the defendants' alleged substantial role in causing climate change and resulting harms to New Jersey.
Platkin v. Exxon Mobil Corp.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/18/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. New Jersey Filed Lawsuit to Hold Fossil Fuel Defendants Liable for Climate Change Impacts. The New Jersey Attorney General, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court alleging that fossil fuel industry defendants engaged in a “successful climate deception” campaign about the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, with the “the purpose and effect of inflating and sustaining the market for fossil fuels, which—in turn—drove up greenhouse gas emissions, accelerated global warming, and brought about devast[at]ing climate change impacts to the State of New Jersey and its Overburdened Communities … in particular.” The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ actions had resulted in the State paying billions of dollars to respond to and protect people, businesses, infrastructure, and natural resources from climate change hazards, including sea-level rise, disruption to the hydrologic cycle, extreme precipitation events and associated flooding, heat waves, droughts, ocean acidification, degradation of air and water quality, and habitat and species loss. The complaint alleged that climate change impacts would “disproportionately afflict” Overburdened Communities by exacerbating environmental and public health stressors associated with socioeconomic and racial disparities. The complaint asserted failure to warn, negligence, impairment of the public trust, trespass, public nuisance, and private nuisance claims as well as violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for unconscionable commercial practices and deception and misrepresentations and omissions of material facts. The plaintiffs requested compensatory, natural resource, and punitive damages; costs and fees; abatement of the nuisance; abatement of the trespass; civil penalties; and disgorgement of profits.