MAP Statement on Federal District Court Decision to Hear San Francisco Climate Case
Ruling “Should Be A Signal To The Plaintiffs’ Bar That This Approach Is A Legal Dead End”
Washington, D.C. – The following statement was released by Lindsey de la Torre, executive director of the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), in response to a decision handed down by Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of California establishing federal jurisdiction in the San Francisco climate lawsuit:
“This decision from the Northern District of California is a significant setback for these politically-motivated and legally questionable lawsuits and should be a signal to the plaintiffs’ bar that this approach is a legal dead end. Precedent shows that similar cases heard in federal court have been unsuccessful for plaintiffs looking to pin the global challenge of climate change on manufacturers. Plaintiff attorney Matt Pawa, who masterminded the lawsuit in San Francisco, has tried several such cases himself and has been ultimately turned away each time.
“The issue of climate change is a shared responsibility that can in no way be pinpointed to one product or a handful of companies. If the elected officials targeting manufacturers are genuinely concerned about the effects of climate change, they should address those concerns administratively, legislatively, and personally, not through frivolous litigation that does nothing to advance solutions to this global problem.”
Judge Alsup, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999, noted in his ruling that, “[t]he scope of the worldwide predicament demands the most comprehensive view available, which in our American court system means our federal courts and our federal common law … A patchwork of 50 different answers to the same fundamental global issue would be unworkable.”
The Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP) will set the record straight and highlight the concerted, coordinated campaign being waged by plaintiffs’ lawyers, public officials, deep-pocketed foundations and other activists who have sought to undermine and weaken manufacturers in the United States. This campaign will pull back the curtain to expose these efforts and to hold key actors accountable in order to protect our members and American manufacturing workers. The MAP is a project of the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA), which serves as the leading voice of manufacturers in the nation’s courts. Visit us at mfgaccountabilityproject.org.