The major automakers are breathing a bit easier, thanks to a recent court ruling. The International Herald Tribune reports that the California federal district court has dismissed a claim against General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Nissan and Honda for damages caused by vehicle emissions. In its case, the State of California was demanding several billion dollars in court-ordered and civil damages on the basis that these emissions constituted a public nuisance that inflicted climate change and health-related costs. Judge Martin Jenkins, a Clinton appointee and San Francisco native, ruled against the Golden State, opining that emissions regulations were the domain of the legislature and not under the jurisdiction of the courts. The state has hinted that it may appeal the ruling. No word yet from Sacramento as to whether the state will also be filing suit against its own Department of Motor Vehicles for permitting millions of state residents to drive all of those cars, or its Department of Transportation for building the highways that they used.
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