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Aramark Uniform & Career Apparel, Inc. v. Easton

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20115
Nos. No. SC02-2190, (Fla., 10/07/2004)

The Supreme Court of Florida held that a state statute that allows suits for damages resulting from pollution creates a new strict liability cause of action and does not merely modify existing common-law causes of action that require proof of causation. The statute, §376.313(3) Florida Statutes (2002), departs from the common law by providing a damages remedy for the non-negligent discharge of pollution without proof that the defendant caused it. In addition, the statute's enumeration of specific and exclusive defenses, as well as other aspects of the statute such as its title, its cumulative remedies clause, and its allowance of attorney fees, provides further evidence that the legislature intended to create a new cause of action. This holding resolved a conflict within the state courts.