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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 27

Peoples Gas Light & Coke Co. v. Beazer East, Inc.

ELR 20180
14-3634 (7th Cir., September 2015)

The Seventh Circuit held that a utility may not seek contribution against a corporation for remediation costs the utility incurred at a former coke plant that was operated by the corporation's predecessor more than 90 years ago. In 1920, the utility and the corporation's predecessor entered into...

Corporations, Held not available

Marilley v. Bonham

ELR 20174
13-17358 (9th Cir., September 2015)

The Ninth Circuit held that California's commercial fishing fees for nonresidents violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution. California's commercial fishing license fees are significantly higher for out-of-state fishers than for residents. For example, California...

Constitutional law, Privileges and Immunities Clause, Fisheries

California Sea Urchin Commission v. Bean

ELR 20176
2:14-cv-08499 (C.D. Cal., September 2015)

A district court upheld FWS' decision to terminate the southern sea otter translocation program off the coast of California. Due to the threatened species' vulnerability to extinction from oil spills, environmental contamination, disease, shooting, and entanglement in fishing gear, FWS began the...

Wildlife (generally)

State ex rel. Youngstown v. Mahoning County Board of Elections

ELR 20175
2015-Ohio-3761 (Ohio, September 2015)

The Ohio Supreme Court held that a local election board exceeded its statutory authority when it refused to certify a city's proposed ballot measure that would, among other things, ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits and create a civil cause of action for damages to be brought in the...

Constitutional law, Hydraulic Fracturing

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District v. Bath Township

ELR 20178
2015-OHIO-3705 (Ohio, September 2015)

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that a regional sewer district has the authority to create and impose fees for a stormwater management program. The applicable statute authorizes the sewer district to collect, treat, and dispose of "waste water," defined as "any storm water and any water...

Water pollution, Water

Smith v. ConocoPhilips Pipe Line Co.

ELR 20179
14-2191 (8th Cir., September 2015)

The Eighth Circuit reversed a lower court decision certifying as a class a group of homeowners alleging nuisance claims against an oil company that owns a nearby contaminated site. A pipeline leak was discovered under the site in the 1960s, and while the leak was repaired, the contamination was...

Common questions, FRCP 23(b)(3), Hazardous Substances, Nuisance

In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon"

ELR 20177
MDL 2179 (E.D. La., September 2015)

A district court dismissed an environmental group's EPCRA lawsuit against BP for failing to report the release of hazardous substances following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, holding no such duty existed. EPCRA derives its reporting requirements from CERCLA, which excludes petroleum...

Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)