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A federal judge posed a question to lawyers representing New York City in its global warming lawsuit against five major oil companies — does the city invest in fossil fuels?
The answer is an unambiguous yes, but attorneys representing the city told U.S. District Court Judge John Keenan they “don’t know,” further arguing that fact was “beyond the scope of the pleadings” during a court hearing on Tuesday.
Keenan - Attorney - Matthew - Pawa - New
Keenan didn’t seem to buy it, and pressed attorney Matthew Pawa on whether or not New York City was trying to relitigate failed attempts to get a monetary judgement on damages allegedly caused by man-made warming.
New York City filed its lawsuit against oil companies in January, demanding compensation for damages allegedly caused by global warming, including future damages. The city hired the firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP to handle its suit in exchange for a share of any winnings — potentially billions of dollars.
Keenan - Arguments - Tuesday - New - York
Keenan heard arguments on Tuesday on whether or not New York City’s lawsuit should be dismissed. Pawa argued carbon dioxide emissions from oil companies products constituted a “nuisance,” but Keenan didn’t seem to buy it.
“I don’t think it’s hard to take judicial notice of the fact the city police department has a lot of cars, that the firehouse has trucks,” Keenan said. “Isn’t the plaintiff using the product that is the subject of this lawsuit?”
Co-counsel - Pawa - Answer - Honor - City
After huddling with co-counsel, Pawa also said “we don’t know the answer to that your honor” when asked about the city’s fossil fuel investments.
Pawa’s answer was odd given New York City announced earlier this year it would divest from fossil fuel assets within five years. The announcement was made the same time Mayor...
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