Attorney General Tong Statement on Second Circuit Win Affirming Connecticut Case Against ExxonMobil Belongs in State Court(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong released a statement following a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming that Connecticut’s case against ExxonMobil belongs in Connecticut state court.
“The Second Circuit has now joined the unanimous conclusion of every single circuit court to examine this issue—state law claims belong in state court. Our case is simple and strong—ExxonMobil amassed billions of dollars in profits off a decades-long campaign of lies, and they must be held accountable. This has always been a straightforward consumer deception case, built on the same Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act that forced accountability for Big Tobacco, the opioid addiction industry, JUUL, and in so many other landmark consumer protection wins. We are ready to aggressively prosecute this case in Connecticut, to uncover and expose ExxonMobil’s lies, and to hold the company accountable for the massive harm their deception caused to our environment, public health, and our economy,” said Attorney General Tong.
Attorney General Tong sued ExxonMobil in September 2020 under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, alleging an ongoing, systematic campaign of lies and deception to hide from the public what ExxonMobil has known for decades—that burning fossil fuels undeniably contributes to climate change. Connecticut is seeking to stop ExxonMobil’s lies and to hold ExxonMobil accountable for these unfair and deceptive practices.
The Second Circuit decision is the latest in a string of decisions nationwide blocking efforts by the fossil fuel industry to move to federal court cases involving state law claims against energy companies for their roles in exacerbating climate change. To date, every circuit court that has examined this issue has reached a similar conclusion—state law claims belong in state court. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Suncor Energy v. Boulder and several similar cases involving state law claims against energy companies.