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In re In re Steuart Transp. Co.

Citation: 10 ELR 20278
No. No. 76-697-N, 495 F. Supp. 38/14 ERC 1172/(E.D. Va., 02/19/1980) Defendant's motion for summary judgment denied

In an action in which the United States and the State of Virginia seek penalties and cleanup costs in connection with an oil spill, the court denies defendant's motion for summary judgment on the question of whether it may be held liable for the loss of migratory waterfowl. Though it agrees with defendant that neither the federal nor state government may assert an ownership interest in wildlife, the court rules that they may assert legally protectable interests in the wildlife under the parens patriae and public trust doctrines and that these interests support an action for damages.

Counsel for Plaintiff Commonwealth of Virginia
Timothy G. Hayes, Ass't Attorney General
Supreme Court Bldg., Richmond VA 23219
(804) 786-2071

Counsel for Plaintiff United States
Allen van Emmerik
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 724-7290

Justin W. Williams, U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 60, Norfolk VA 23501
(804) 441-3331

Counsel for Defendant Steuart Transportation Co.
Robert M. Hughes, Stephen Wainger
Seawell, McCoy, Dalton, Hughes, Gore & Timms
936 Wainwright Bldg., Bute & Duke Sts., Norfolk VA 23510
(804) 622-5341