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Scott v. Hammond, City of

Citation: 12 ELR 20128
No. Nos. 80 C 4563, 4775, 519 F. Supp. 292/18 ERC 1041/(N.D. Ill., 06/24/1981)

The district court rules that plaintiffs are entitled to seek relief under Illinois common and statutory law against out-of-state defendants for pollution of Lake Michigan. The State of Illinois and private plaintiffs filed suit against two Indiana municipalities for discharging large quantities of raw and inadequately treated sewage into Lake Michigan, alleging violations of the federal common law of nuisance and Illinois common and statutory law. The court dismisses the federal common law courts in light of City of Milwaukee v. Illinois, 11 ELR 20406. However, defendants' motions to dismiss the causes of action based on state law are denied because (1) the litigation is not between two sovereign states, (2) the issue of regulating and preventing water pollution does not present conflicts that can be resolved only by resort to federal law, and (3) neither the Federal Water Pollution Control Act nor its legislative history indicate that the Act preempts states from enforcing stricter controls than the federal government on out-of-state polluters. In addition, the court rules that under Illinois choice of law rules Illinois substantive law should be applied and that the relief sought by the plaintiffs is within the court's power since it has in personam jurisdiction over defendants.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Sanford R. Gail
Karaganis & Gail, Ltd.
Suite 2500, 150 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago IL 60606
(312) 782-1905

Kenneth Anspach, John Van Vranken; Tyrone C. Fahner, Attorney General
188 W. Randolph St., Suite 2315, Chicago IL 60601
(312) 793-2491

James Murray
Metropolitan Sanitary Dist. of Greater Chicago
100 E. Erie St., Chicago IL 60611
(312) 751-5600

Counsel for Defendants
Jeremiah Marsh, David O. Toolan, Michael Schneiderman
Hopkins, Sutter, Mulroy, Davis & Cromartie
Suite 5200, One First Nat'l Plaza, Chicago IL 60603
(312) 558-6600

Dorothy Altermeyer
Environmental Protection Agency, 230 S. Dearborn St., Chicago IL 60604
(312) 886-6669

William L. Want
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5286