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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Environment - "Judges already citing Wal-Mart ruling in environmental cases"

Lawrence Hurley, E&E reporter, has the story. A sample:

The case has been seized upon by corporate defendants in a wide range of class-action cases, including those involving environmental claims. Although the Wal-Mart case was in federal court, it is being mentioned both in federal and state court rulings.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Louisiana Supreme Court and a state court in Michigan are among courts that have already cited the Wal-Mart decision in rulings against plaintiffs in environmental cases.

"The Wal-Mart decision will likely have a major impact in environmental cases because in those cases plaintiffs' lawyers often try to bundle together highly individualized claims that have nothing in common," said Theodore Boutrous, the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher attorney who argued the case for Wal-Mart.

The Supreme Court has now explicitly rejected what he called the "trial by formula" approach that many plaintiffs' attorneys take, he added.

Scott Summy, a trial lawyer with Baron Budd in Dallas, said the ruling "will obviously be used by corporate America in an attempt to avoid class certification in many contexts, including environmental cases."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 7, 2012 09:04 AM
Posted to Environment