COLORADO CITY FRACKING BANS PREEMPTED BY STATE LAW
City of Longmont v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 442; City of Fort Collins v. Colo. Oil and Gas Ass’n, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo. 2016), 2016 Colo. LEXIS 443. In two concurrent opinions, the Colorado Supreme Court invalidated the two cities’ bans on fracking and the storage of fracking wastes within the cities’ limits. The City of Longmont completely banned the fracking process within the city’s limits; whereas, the City of Fort Collins enacted a five-year moratorium on the fracking process. The Colorado Supreme Court held that both bans conflicted with state law in their operational effect and, thus, were preempted by state law.
OREGON’S TEMPORARY BAN ON INSTREAM MOTORIZED MINING EQUIPMENT NOT PREEMPTED BY FEDERAL LAW
Joshua Caleb Bohmker, et al. v. State of Oregon, et al., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39163 (D. Or. March 25, 2016). The United States District Court for the District of Oregon upheld a state law placing a temporary ban on the use of motorized equipment for mining in Oregon riverbeds and banks. The ban was in response to the “significant risks” motorized mining posed to Oregon’s natural resources and the cumulative environmental impacts of motorized mining. The moratorium applied only to the use of motorized mining equipment, and did not ban mining altogether. The court found that SB 838 is a valid regulation and not preempted by federal law.
SOPHISTICATED INTERMEDIARY DOCTRINE FOR PRODUCTS LIABILITY CLAIMS NOW THE LAW IN CALIFORNIA
Webb v. Special Electric Co., Inc., 2016 Cal. LEXIS 3591 (May 23, 2016). The California Supreme Court adopted the “sophisticated intermediary doctrine” in regard to product liability claims, holding that a supplier can discharge its duty to warn only if it (1) provides adequate warnings or sells to a sophisticated buyer; and (2) reasonably relies on the buyer to warn end users of the harm.