Cli­mate suits in the off­ing?

The East African - - OUTLOOK -

AFTER DIS­AS­TERS in the US like Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, lawyers get busy with law­suits seek­ing to ap­por­tion blame and claim dam­ages. This time, a new kind of lit­i­ga­tion is likely to ap­pear, they say — re­lat­ing to cli­mate change. That is be­cause rapid sci­en­tific ad­vances are mak­ing it pos­si­ble to mea­sure what por­tion of a dis­as­ter such as Har­vey can be at­trib­uted to the planet’s chang­ing cli­mate. Such ev­i­dence could well feed neg­li­gence claims, as some vic­tims of the hur­ri­cane may seek to fault author­i­ties or com­pa­nies for fail­ing to plan for such events. “As ex­treme weather events and re­lated dam­ages and other im­pacts in­crease in sever­ity ... courts will in­creas­ingly be called upon to seek re­dress for dam­ages suf­fered,” said Lin­dene Pat­ton, a Wash­ing­ton-based riskman­age­ment lawyer.

— Thom­son Reuters

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