By Karen Savage
Minnesota’s climate fraud lawsuit against ExxonMobil, three Koch Industries entities and the American Petroleum Institute belongs in state court, Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.
The court should also award the state “attorney fees and costs incurred as a result of defendants’ improper removal,” Ellison wrote.
Attorney fees and costs can be ordered if a judge determines “the removing party lacked an objectively reasonable basis” for moving the case to federal court.
Ellison filed the suit in state court in June, alleging the companies violated state laws when they engaged in consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and false advertising during a decades-long campaign of deception about their role in climate change.
The companies contend the case involves federal claims and moved it to federal court last month, where they think it is more likely to be dismissed.
It is a strategy used by fossil fuel companies facing climate change-related lawsuits across the country, but their arguments—including many presented in the Minnesota case—have largely been rejected.[Read more…]