The Dow Chemical Company v. Cook

Petition to Seek Review of Tenth Circuit Decision Creating Circuit Split on Question of Federal Preemption is Dismissed

Term: 2015 Term
Oral Argument Date:
Vote: N/A - Dismissed
Opinion:
Questions Presented: 

Whether the Price-Anderson Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2210 et seq., preempts state-law claims by plaintiffs who assert a claim for injuries arising out of alleged radioactive releases and, if so, whether the decision below can stand.

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

The U.S. Chamber filed an amicus brief in support of Supreme Court review of a case stemming from a decades-long class action seeking damages for injuries caused by release of plutonium from the Rock Flats nuclear plant in Colorado.  The question presented addresses whether a plaintiff who asserts, but fails to prove, a federal claim for a nuclear-related injury under the Price-Anderson Act (“PAA”) can nonetheless pursue and recover on a freestanding state-law claim based on the same facts.  The Chamber’s brief argues that the Tenth Circuit’s decision misapplies well-settled preemption doctrine, resulting in a circuit split.  The brief also argues that the Tenth Circuit’s decision undermines the complex balance of interests that Congress deliberately struck in the PAA.  

Kevin C. Newsom and Jeffrey M. Anderson of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP served as co-counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

Outcome Content: 

The petition for certiorari was dismissed under Supreme Court Rule 46.

Procedural History: 

Cert. petition filed 12/15/2015.

U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 1/19/2016.

Cert. petition dismissed 5/19/2016.