Court sides with NYC in climate lawsuit against oil industry

By Lesley Clark | 05/13/2024 06:17 AM EDT

The ruling is the latest to reject oil companies’ claims that climate lawsuits from local governments belong in federal court.

Bill de Blasio speaks into a microphone while pointing right finger.

A climate lawsuit filed by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (shown) is making its way back to state court. Charlie Neibergall/AP

A federal judge has rebuked the oil industry for its fight against New York City’s bid for funds to help tackle climate impacts.

The ruling Thursday from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is a significant win for the city, whose 2018 lawsuit seeking compensation for rising tides, intensifying storms and other effects of a warming planet was rejected by a federal bench and has become a legal cudgel for the industry.

Judge Valerie Caproni firmly — and at times scathingly — rejected the oil industry’s request to transfer the city’s new 2021 lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and the American Petroleum Institute out of the state court where it was first filed.


Her ruling mirrors nearly a dozen other decisions in the climate liability litigation, in which nearly 40 city, county and state governments are suing oil companies for compensation for the role they played in warming the planet.