It seems like every company REALLY cares about the environment these days, right? Well, occasionally the marketing hype outweighs the actual truth and certain companies get in trouble for “greenwashing.” According to news sources, “greenwashing” is the term for a company’s exaggerated, misleading, or unsupported claims about its environmental practices.
In recent years, there has been a global uptick in lawsuits and complaints alleging that large oil and gas companies have deceived the public and made misleading statements about their impact on climate change.
Greenwashing lawsuits have also been brought against airlines, restaurants, banks, retailers, and car companies.
An environmental group lodged a complaint against one of the largest oil and gas companies for misleading the public with an advertisement that focused on its low-carbon energy products, when more than 96% of its annual spend was on oil and gas.
Attempts to Remove the Greenwashing Lawsuits to Federal Court In recent years, greenwashing cases brought under state consumer protection laws against large oil and gas companies have been stalled as a result of procedural arguments over the proper forum, specifically, whether these lawsuits should proceed in state or federal court.
For example, the journey for the proper forum in a lawsuit filed by the City of Baltimore against twenty-six oil and gas companies has been full of procedural twists and turns, taking almost four years to resolve.
While oil and gas companies have strategically attempted to either dismiss these lawsuits in their early stages or litigate the lawsuits in federal courts, they may have few tools left to avoid moving into the discovery phase of the lawsuit. States, localities, and advocacy groups have successfully discovered how to bring greenwashing lawsuits against major oil and gas companies in their preferred forum and survive dismissal.
Such a result is likely to increase greenwashing litigation and could ultimately result in oil and gas companies proceeding to trial over statements regarding their environmental practices.
Just like the grass, oceans, trees and mountains of the Earth, disputes can be found EVERYWHERE! And when those things negatively impact YOU and/or YOUR business including bankruptcies, landlord/tenant matters including unlawful detainers, contract issues, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call in your good guy business litigator, Dean Sperling to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind!
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