The Rhode Island (RI) lead paint trial (I,II, and maybe a III) came to us through the state's attorney general, who was approached by private law firm Motley Rice which was willing to work on contingency. But, unfortunately, RI is not unique in finding itself saddled with expensive, time-consuming and distracting litigation that is generated by state attorney generals.
The good news is that much of this attorney-general initiated litigation is not faring well. The RI lead paint saga dates back to the end of the 1990s, without resolution. As readers know, the defense, which lost the February 22nd verdict, have pushed back aggressively with motions for dismissal or a new trial, separate one for each, this time.
Recently, as reported in Overlawyered.com, in seven states, the attorney generals have been busy bees in filing lawsuits against out-of-state utilities under, get this, nuisance laws, for the carbon dioxide emissions allegedly created by the out-of-state power plants.
Well, New York federal judge Loretta Preska dismissed their lawsuit Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co. In addition, this judge stated that the plaintiffs lacked standing, that is, evidence of specific injuries or grievances instead of generalized ones. This is a central issue also in the U.S. Supreme Court review of Massachusetts v. EPA. That class-action lawsuit, filed by 12 states, seeks to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate automobile carbon dioxide emissions because of the possibility of global warming. To me this sounds as complex and far-fetched as the RI lead paint saga.