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Shammel v. Canyon Resources Corp.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20233
Nos. No. 05-206, (Mont., 08/20/2007)

The Montana Supreme Court held that where adequate alternative remedies exist under the common law or statute, the right to a clean and healthful environment under the Montana Constitution does not authorize a distinct cause of action in tort for money damages between two private parties. Downstream landowners brought an action against a mining company for contamination of their property, alleging tort claims and a right to money damages for violating their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. Because the landowners provided no indication that traditional tort remedies, amplified by restoration damages, will not afford them complete redress for the environmental damage, the lower court properly denied damages.