In a move similar to the massive lawsuits filled against big tobacco, California State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has filed a lawsuit against six of the world’s top automakers.
Essentially, the suit holds the six manufacturers for billions of dollars of environmental damages, such as greenhouse gases and global warming.
The sweeping lawsuit names General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp., the Chrysler Motors Corp. U.S. arm of Germany’s DaimlerChrysler and the North American units of Japan’s Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
According to Reuters, the suit claims: “The injuries have caused the people to suffer billions of dollars in damages, including millions of dollars of funds expended to determine the extent, location and nature of future harm and to prepare for and mitigate those harms, and billions of dollars of current harm to the value of flood control infrastructure and natural resources.”
In a humorous response, John Merchant, chairman, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse said, “In his latest crusade, Attorney General Bill Lockyer has decided to sue automakers, arguing they have created a public nuisance by building cars — cars which emit greenhouse gases. He’s requesting that a jury award monetary damages as well as attorney fees and costs, but he’s missing out on the really big money with this one. The AG’s complaint overlooks 36 million other sources of greenhouse gas emissions — the human beings occupying California who ought to be sued for ‘negligent breathing.'”
“Californians each emit about 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2 — a greenhouse gas) every day just by breathing. If you multiply 2.5 pounds of CO2 per day by 36 million Californians by 365 days, that’s more than 16 million tons of CO2 just from breathing. Talk about a public nuisance … and don’t even get me started on the methane people produce.
“This lawsuit is a public nuisance. Activist attorneys general who abuse our legal system and impose a system of ‘government by lawsuit’ to gain publicity and further their own political agenda do so at the expense of the people they are paid to represent. Inevitably the costs of litigation in cases like this will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Just what we all need.”
According to Reuters, a similar case in New York was recently dismisses as being a “nuisance suit.”