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Sahu v. Union Carbide Corp.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20274
Nos. No. 06-5694, (2d Cir., 11/03/2008) Vacated & remanded

The Second Circuit vacated and remanded a lower court decision granting summary judgment in favor of a company for water pollution allegedly caused by a former subsidiary's operation of a factory in Bhopal, India. The district court, sua sponte, converted the defendants' motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) to one for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and granted the motion. In so doing, the court did not give the plaintiffs sufficient notice to allow them adequately to respond to the converted summary judgment motion. Once the court decided to consider extrinsic evidence to decide a motion for summary judgment rather than limit itself to the pleadings as it would on a motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs should have been given a reasonable opportunity to meet facts outside the pleadings.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20018.]