Ogala et al v. Chevron Corporation et al

Filing 44

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti granting 38 Motion to Dismiss, with leave to amend, and denying motion to strike class action allegations. Plaintiffs may amend their FAC only to add facts demonstrating that (1) the named plaintiffs suffered injury sufficient to confer standing and (2) the named plaintiffs suffered harm different in kind to support private maintenance of public nuisance claims. Plaintiffs shall file an amended complaint that addresses the concerns identified above within fourteen (14) days of the signature date of this Order. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of this action with prejudice. (sclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/21/2014)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 9 FOSTER OGOLA, et al., 10 Plaintiffs, 11 12 v. CHEVRON CORPORATION, 13 Defendant. 14 15 16 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. 14-cv-173-SC ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND AND DENYING MOTION TO STRIKE 17 18 19 I. INTRODUCTION Now before the Court is Defendant Chevron Corporation's 20 21 ("Chevron") motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. 22 ECF No. 34 ("FAC"). 23 Chevron U.S.A.'s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' original complaint, 24 with leave for Plaintiffs to amend. 25 Order"). 26 responded on July 3 with a motion to dismiss the complaint and 27 /// 28 /// On May 19, 2014, the Court granted Chevron and ECF No. 30 ("Dismissal Plaintiffs filed their FAC on June 17, 2014, and Chevron The motion is fully briefed 1 1 strike the class action allegations. 2 and suitable for determination without oral argument per Civil 3 Local Rule 7-1(b). 4 Chevron's motion to dismiss is GRANTED, Plaintiffs' claims are 5 DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND, and Chevron's motion to strike is 6 DENIED. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant 7 II. BACKGROUND United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 On January 16, 2012, an explosion occurred on the KS Endeavor, 9 10 an offshore rig drilling for natural gas in the North Apoi Field 11 off of the coast of Nigeria. 12 burned for forty-six days. 13 the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria. 14 plaintiffs also claim to represent 65,000 other people "directly 15 affected by, interested in and having claims arising out of the 16 incident . . . ." 17 losses to their livelihood, environmental damage, and health 18 problems as a result of the explosion and fire. The explosion caused a fire that Id. ¶ 12. Plaintiffs are persons who reside in FAC ¶ 4. The named They allege that they have suffered Id. ¶ 3. Plaintiffs initially named three defendants: Chevron, Chevron 19 20 U.S.A., Inc., and Chevron Investments, Inc. Plaintiffs have 21 voluntarily dismissed their claims against Chevron U.S.A. and 22 Chevron Investments, ECF Nos. 35; 36, so Chevron is the only 23 remaining defendant in the case. 24 Endeavor was negligently operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited 25 ("CNL") under Chevron's direction. 26 Chevron Investments, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Plaintiffs allege that the KS Id. ¶ 2. CNL is owned by 27 1 28 ECF Nos. 38 ("Mot."), 40 ("Opp'n"), 42 ("Reply"). 2 action. 3 equipment failures, smoke, and a dangerous buildup of gas on the KS 4 Endeavor. 5 drilling to continue (or sanctioned CNL's decision to continue 6 drilling), resulting in the ensuing explosion. 7 has moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim under Federal 8 United States District Court Chevron. 2 For the Northern District of California 1 Id. ¶¶ 13-14. CNL is not named as a defendant in this Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and to strike Plaintiffs' class 9 action allegations. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Chevron was aware of Plaintiffs allege that Chevron negligently ordered Id. ¶ 26. Chevron 10 11 III. LEGAL STANDARD 12 A. Motion to Dismiss 13 A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14 12(b)(6) "tests the legal sufficiency of a claim." Navarro v. 15 Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). 16 on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of 17 sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory." 18 Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 19 1988). 20 should assume their veracity and then determine whether they 21 plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." 22 Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009). 23 must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint 24 is inapplicable to legal conclusions. 25 elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory 26 statements, do not suffice." 27 Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). 28 complaint must be both "sufficiently detailed to give fair notice "Dismissal can be based "When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court Ashcroft v. However, "the tenet that a court Threadbare recitals of the Id. (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. 3 The allegations made in a 1 to the opposing party of the nature of the claim so that the party 2 may effectively defend against it" and "sufficiently plausible" 3 such that "it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be 4 subjected to the expense of discovery." 5 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 6 B. Leave to Amend 7 When a motion to dismiss is granted, a district court must United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 decide whether to grant leave to amend. Generally, the Ninth 9 Circuit has a liberal policy favoring amendments and, thus, leave 10 to amend should be freely granted. See, e.g., DeSoto v. Yellow 11 Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992). 12 court does not need to grant leave to amend in cases where the 13 court determines that permitting a plaintiff to amend would be an 14 exercise in futility. 15 Winery, 829 F.2d 729, 738 (9th Cir. 1987) ("Denial of leave to 16 amend is not an abuse of discretion where the pleadings before the 17 court demonstrate that further amendment would be futile."). However, a See, e.g., Rutman Wine Co. v. E. & J. Gallo 18 C. Motion to Strike 19 There is a split in this District as to whether a motion to 20 strike class action allegations may be entertained at the motion to 21 dismiss stage. 22 Tasion Commc'ns, Inc. v. Ubiquiti Networks, Inc., C-13-1803 EMC, 23 2014 WL 1048710, at *3-4 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 14, 2014) (Chen, J.) 24 (denying motion to strike class action allegations because Rule 25 12(f) is not the proper vehicle for such a motion) 2; Clerkin v. 26 2 27 28 Several judges have held that they may not be. See Puzzlingly, Chevron cites Tasion for the proposition that "class allegations properly are addressed on the pleadings under Rule 12(b)(6)." Mot. at 14. In fact, Tasion held the opposite. Judge Chen did recognize that "[c]ourts have held previously that, in 4 29, 2011) (Wilken, J.) ("Defendants fail to identify any authority 3 permitting the use of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a 4 claim to contest the suitability of class certification."); Astiana 5 v. Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., C 10-4387 PJH, 2011 WL 2111796, at 6 *13-14 (N.D. Cal. May 26, 2011) (Hamilton, J.) ("[S]uch a motion 7 appears to allow a determination of the suitability of proceeding 8 United States District Court MyLife.Com, C 11-00527 CW, 2011 WL 3809912, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 2 For the Northern District of California 1 as a class action without actually considering a motion for class 9 certification."); Swift v. Zynga Game Network, Inc., C 09-05443 10 SBA, 2010 WL 4569889, at *10 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 3, 2010) (Armstrong, 11 J.) (denying motion to strike class action allegations based on 12 Ninth Circuit precedent indicating that Rule 12(f) is not the 13 proper vehicle for such a motion). 14 Other judges have held that a motion to strike class action 15 allegations may be brought (but granted only rarely) at the motion 16 to dismiss stage. 17 SI, 2014 WL 1618279, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 21, 2014) (Illston, J.) 18 ("A defendant may move to strike class actions prior to discovery See Allagas v. BP Solar Int'l Inc., C 14-00560 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 rare circumstances, class allegations may be struck where 'the complaint demonstrates that a class action cannot be maintained on the facts alleged, a defendant may move to strike class allegations prior to discovery.'" Tasion, 2014 WL 1048710 at *3. However, Judge Chen ultimately decided "that the viability of this case law is questionable in light of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi–Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970 (9th Cir. 2010)." Id. Because Whittlestone limited motions to strike to certain issues not including class action allegations, Judge Chen denied the motion. Chevron may have been confused because Judge Chen did dismiss the Tasion plaintiffs' class action allegations with respect to one count. However, he did so only because the underlying cause of action expressly prohibited class actions seeking monetary relief. Dismissing a cause of action because it is explicitly prohibited by law is entirely different from what Chevron requests here: essentially a denial of a motion to certify the class at the motion to dismiss stage. 5 maintained on the facts alleged therein.") 3; In re Apple, AT&T iPad 3 Unlimited Data Plan Litig., C-10-02553 RMW, 2012 WL 2428248, at *2- 4 3 (N.D. Cal. June 26, 2012) (Whyte, J.) (motions to strike class 5 action allegations may be brought at the motion to dismiss stage 6 but are disfavored); Sanders v. Apple Inc., 672 F. Supp. 2d 978, 7 990 (N.D. Cal. 2009) (Fogel, J.) ("Where the complaint demonstrates 8 United States District Court where the complaint demonstrates a class action cannot be 2 For the Northern District of California 1 that a class action cannot be maintained on the facts alleged, a 9 defendant may move to strike class allegations prior to 10 discovery."). Even these judges, however, have applied a very 11 strict standard to motions to strike class allegations on the 12 pleadings. 13 law are clear and not in dispute, and that under no set of 14 circumstances could the claim or defense succeed" may the 15 allegations be stricken. 16 2012 WL 2428248 at *2; see also Allagas, 2014 WL 1618279, at *3; 17 Sanders, 672 F. Supp. 2d at 990. 18 actually granted a motion to strike. Only if the court is "convinced that any questions of In re iPad Unlimited Datat Plan Litig., Of these judges, only Judge Fogel 19 IV. DISCUSSION 20 A. 21 The Negligence Claims 1. 22 Imputing CNL's Liability to Chevron One of the bases on which the Court dismissed Plaintiffs' 23 24 original complaint was that Plaintiffs had failed to plead facts 25 3 26 27 28 Though Judge Illston did recognize that such motions may be brought, she observed that "[m]otions to strike class action allegations are rarely granted at the pleading stage. The better practice is to assess class allegations through a motion for class certification." Allagas, 2014 WL 1618279, at *6. She proceeded to deny the motion to strike without analyzing its merits. 6 1 sufficient to implicate the defendants, including Chevron. 2 original complaint made generally unsupported legal assertions that 3 Chevron was responsible for CNL's activities in Nigeria but did not 4 include factual allegations to support those claims. 5 argues that the FAC suffers from the same deficiency. 6 The Chevron Plaintiffs have added a number of additional factual United States District Court allegations to the amended complaint. 8 For the Northern District of California 7 With respect to Chevron's corporate structure, Plaintiffs allege that many of CNL's employees 9 were also Chevron employees who "ultimately were working on 10 assignment from Chevron Corp." 11 allege that CNL's "[p]ersonnel were selected by [Chevron] and under 12 the control and direction of Chevron" and that Chevron "authorized 13 pay, bonuses and job rotations" for CNL employees. 14 FAC ¶ 17. Plaintiffs further Regarding the allegedly negligent decision to continue 15 drilling, Plaintiffs allege that "any and all decisions as to 16 whether there should be cessation of pumping and evacuation of the 17 rig were taken by Defendant, alternatively sanctioned by Defendant 18 from its headquarters in San Ramon, California." 19 specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Id. ¶ 27. More 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 [Chevron] employed a representative who was, at all material times, the Rig Superintendant [sic] with overall control on the rig. Prior to the explosion he was attending daily report meetings with the personnel on board and in particular the Offshore Installation Manager ("OIM"). Some 3 days prior to the explosion but after the gas pressure and pumping problems had been reported, the said representative of the Defendant failed to appear at any meeting [sic] and simply disappeared. Despite instructions from the Defendant to continue operations on the rig as normal, the OIM took the initiative to launch the lifeboats in readiness to evacuate the rig. 27 Id. ¶ 27. Chevron ignores these crucial additions to the FAC, 28 essentially repeating the arguments made in support of its first 7 1 2 motion to dismiss. The new facts pleaded in the FAC support both direct and Plaintiffs allege that Chevron, not CNL, employees had the ultimate 5 power to decide whether or not to continue drilling once they 6 became aware of the potentially dangerous situation on the rig. 7 The new facts also allege that a Chevron employee was actually 8 United States District Court indirect theories of liability. 4 For the Northern District of California 3 The new facts make clear that running day-to-day operations on the rig. 9 that Chevron employee had issued the instructions to continue According to the FAC, 10 drilling. In other words, Plaintiffs allege that Chevron actually 11 made the allegedly negligent decision and executed that decision 12 through an employee on the ground in Nigeria. 13 these factual allegations sufficient to support a negligence claim 14 against Chevron directly. The Court finds 15 Plaintiffs' FAC also supports indirect liability theories. 16 Generally, a corporate subsidiary is the agent of its parent if 17 "the nature and extent of the control exercised over the subsidiary 18 by the parent is so pervasive and continual that the subsidiary may 19 be considered nothing more than an agent or instrumentality of the 20 parent, notwithstanding the maintenance of separate corporate 21 formalities . . . ." 22 App. 4th 523, 541 (Cal. Ct. App. 2000). 23 the parent must be shown to have moved beyond the establishment of 24 general policy and direction for the subsidiary and in effect taken 25 over performance of the subsidiary's day-to-day operations in 26 carrying out that policy." 27 allegations are critical: (1) CNL employees were actually Chevron 28 employees under Chevron's ultimate direction; (2) Chevron actually Sonora Diamond Corp. v. Superior Ct., 83 Cal. Id. at 542. 8 "As a practical matter, Three new factual 1 made operations decisions (such as the decision to continue 2 drilling); and (3) a Chevron employee was the superintendent of the 3 KS Endeavor responsible for the day-to-day operations of the rig. 4 Those allegations are enough to render plausible the possibility 5 that CNL acted as Chevron's agent. 6 dismissed on this ground. 7 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 9 2. Plaintiffs' claims cannot be Injury in Fact "To establish the irreducible constitutional minimum of standing, a plaintiff invoking federal jurisdiction must establish 10 injury in fact, causation, and a likelihood that a favorable 11 decision will redress the plaintiff's alleged injury." 12 City & Cnty. of San Francisco, 656 F.3d 1002, 1005 (9th Cir. 2011) 13 (internal quotation marks omitted). 14 invasion of a legally protected interest which is . . . concrete 15 and particularized." 16 560 (1992). 17 the pleadings stage, as "[s]tanding merely requires a redressable 18 injury that is fairly traceable to Defendants' conduct. 19 plaintiff can recover for that injury under a particular theory of 20 liability is a separate question." 21 F. Supp. 2d 1145, 1161 (C.D. Cal. 2010). 22 though, "there must be specific allegations that each lead 23 Plaintiff suffered some loss." 24 Supp. 2d 883, 901 (C.D. Cal. 2011). 25 Carrico v. An injury in fact is "an Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, This is not usually a difficult standard to meet at Whether a In re Toyota Motor Corp., 754 At the very minimum, In re Toyota Motor Corp., 785 F. The Court found that Plaintiffs' original complaint failed to 26 establish standing because Plaintiffs did not plead any injury in 27 fact to the named plaintiffs. 28 noted that Plaintiffs had merely listed general categories of Dismissal Order at 9-10. 9 The Court 1 damages they allegedly suffered. But nowhere did they explain how 2 the explosion or fire on the KS Endeavor harmed Plaintiffs. 3 did Plaintiffs plead facts that would establish the "concrete and 4 particularized" injury required by Lujan. Nor The Court explained: 5 There is no discussion whatsoever of how a fire on an offshore rig damaged the businesses, livelihoods, property, or health of Dr. Ogala 4 or any of the other plaintiffs in this case. Plaintiffs make claims about damage to fish, livestock, contamination of water and soil, and "general health breakdown." But there are no allegations that the damaged livestock belonged to Plaintiffs, that the Plaintiffs' livelihoods depended on fisheries, that the contaminated water or soil harmed them or their property, or that the "general health breakdown" affected them. 6 7 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 9 10 11 12 Id. at 10 (citation omitted). The Court even alluded to the sort 13 of facts that might be sufficient to establish standing, explaining 14 that Plaintiffs needed to provide "some indication of what property 15 was damaged, who suffered what physical injuries, and how the 16 damage or injuries resulted from Defendants' conduct . . . ." 17 Dismissal Order at 10. 18 the proposition that "[T]here must be specific allegations that 19 each lead Plaintiff suffered some loss." 20 Supp. 2d at 901). Finally, the Court quoted In re Toyota for Id. at 9 (quoting 785 F. Despite this clear instruction, Plaintiffs have not resolved 21 22 the defects with their allegations of injury. The FAC alleges that 23 "Plaintiffs have suffered: losses to their livelihood; 24 environmental disaster impacting upon food and water supplies; 25 health problems all arising out of the gross negligence of the 26 4 27 28 Plaintiffs have clarified that Dr. Ogola's name was misspelled in all of Plaintiffs' documents filed prior to June 17, 2014. ECF No. 37. 10 1 Defendant." FAC ¶ 3. That claim is copied almost verbatim from 2 the original complaint. 3 further allege that that their "entitlement to compensation arises 4 out of their common and joint ownership, possession and entitlement 5 to use the land, ocean, rivers and waterways for farming, fishing, 6 general dwelling and community activities." 7 allegation is new. See ECF No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶ 3. Id. 3. They That Additionally, the FAC includes the claim that United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 The explosion caused a massive escape of both hydrocarbon gas and pollutants from the drilling operations to be discharged into the ocean in an area only some 5 nautical miles from the shoreline. The ingress of both hydrocarbon gas and pollutants impacted upon the fish stocks within the ocean and were carried inland by tides into creeks and soil. Wells supplying fresh water were affected. Rivers inland and fed by the sea were poisoned. Additionally the fire itself which burned for some 46 days killed immense fish stock. Each community comprises individuals whose livelihood was reliant upon fishing and they have had their industry devastated; persons eating fish that did survive or have drunk polluted water have sustained illness and sickness caused by gas and discharged pollutants affecting both fish and water, all proximately and directly caused by the failures on the part of the Defendant as alleged. 18 19 FAC ¶ 30. This allegation is also new. These facts help establish 20 the connection between Chevron's alleged negligence and the alleged 21 environmental damage. 22 concrete injury suffered by the plaintiffs in this case. But the FAC still fails to plead any 23 The named plaintiffs are Dr. Foster Ogola, Elder Endure 24 Humphrey Fisei, Mr. Fresh Talent, Matthew Kingdom Mieseigha, 25 Chris Wilfred Itonyo, and Natto Iyela Gbarabe. 26 standing, Plaintiffs must explain specifically how each of these 27 people was injured. 28 personally have been injured, not that injury has been suffered by To establish Plaintiffs "must allege and show that they 11 which they purport to represent." 3 502 (1975). 4 See Opp'n at 7 ("In a prospective class action, the court must 5 assess standing to sue based upon the standing of the named 6 plaintiff(s) and not upon the standing of unidentified class 7 members.") (citing id.). 8 United States District Court other, unidentified members of the class to which they belong and 2 For the Northern District of California 1 of injury to unidentified class members. 9 describe any injury to any of the named plaintiffs. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, Plaintiffs appear to be aware of that requirement. But their FAC includes only allegations Nowhere does the FAC ever Plaintiffs 10 must describe a specific injury to each of the named plaintiffs. 11 Because they fail to do so, their FAC is insufficient to establish 12 standing for their negligence claims. 13 The Court clearly explained this defect, and even suggested 14 how it might be corrected, in the dismissal of Plaintiffs' original 15 complaint. 16 cure the defect in their pleadings. 17 Court to dismiss Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice. 18 sympathetic to Chevron's arguments but is also cognizant of the 19 Ninth Circuit's directive that leave to amend should be freely 20 granted. 21 their FAC, it is not yet clear to the Court that one more 22 opportunity to amend would necessarily be futile. 23 Plaintiffs' negligence claims are DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Plaintiffs disregarded that explanation and failed to Accordingly, Chevron urges the The Court is Despite Plaintiffs' failure to correct this problem in Therefore, 24 B. Nuisance Claim 25 Plaintiffs' fourth cause of action is nuisance. Neither the 26 original complaint nor the FAC specifies whether Plaintiffs bring 27 this claim under Nigerian law or California law, but both parties 28 12 1 analyze the claim under California law. 5 2 23-24. 3 indicates that Plaintiffs bring a public, rather than private, 4 nuisance claim. Though the FAC asserts a count only for "Nuisance," it FAC ¶ 89. In its order dismissing Plaintiffs' original complaint, the 5 6 See Mot. at 13; Opp'n at Court explained that: 7 Under California law, a private person may bring a claim for public nuisance only if the injury he suffers is different in kind from that suffered by public at large. Cal. Civ. Code § 3493 ("A private person may maintain an action for a public nuisance, if it is specially injurious to himself, but not otherwise."). United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 9 10 11 Dismissal Order at 14. Generally, public nuisance claims are 12 brought by governmental entities. 13 Ct., 50 Cal. 4th 35, 55 (Cal. 2010). 14 suffered a special injury that is different in kind, not just 15 degree, from the general public" may private individuals bring a 16 suit for public nuisance. 17 App. 4th 1540, 1544 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009). Cnty. of Santa Clara v. Superior "[O]nly where they have Birke v. Oakwood Worldwide, 169 Cal. 18 Plaintiffs appear to recognize this requirement, arguing that 19 "[t]he special damage bearing upon loss of income claims have been 20 indicated within the lists provided and further discovery will 21 elicit further the damage injury and inconvenience affecting the 22 population comprising the class." 23 provided" apparently refers to lists of the 65,000 members of the 24 purported plaintiff class and are apparently in the custody of 25 Plaintiffs' lawyer in Nigeria. 26 5 27 28 Opp'n at 24. The "lists Plaintiffs claim to have provided Plaintiffs mention briefly that California and Nigerian nuisance laws are similar. Opp'n at 23. Neither party has briefed the issue of extraterritorial application of California law in this case. 13 1 these lists to Chevron, but the lists are not incorporated into the 2 FAC and have never been produced to the Court. 3 discussed in the section on injury in fact above, Plaintiffs have 4 failed to allege any specific injury to the named plaintiffs. 5 Consequently, Plaintiffs have not adequately pleaded that they 6 suffered any injury at all, much less an injury different in kind 7 from other members of the public. United States District Court As Once again, the Court notes that it provided clear direction 8 For the Northern District of California See id. at 3. 9 to Plaintiffs on how to fix this problem with their pleadings. 10 However, the Court is not yet entirely convinced that one more 11 chance to amend the pleadings would be futile. 12 nuisance claims are therefore DISMISSED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. Plaintiffs' 13 C. Motion to Strike or Dismiss Class Action Allegations 14 Chevron also brings a motion to strike Plaintiffs' class 15 action allegations. 16 authorized by Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(d)(1)(D) and 17 23(c)(1)(A). 18 purported class under Rules 23(a) and 23(b) and argues that 19 Plaintiffs cannot bring a class action in this case. 20 respond that Chevron's motion is premature, and that, were the 21 Court to consider the motion on its merits, they have sufficiently 22 plead their class action allegations. 23 Chevron argues that such motions are Mot. at 13. Chevron proceeds to analyze Plaintiffs' Plaintiffs Opp'n at 13-23. Even were the Court to permit Chevron's motion at this stage 24 of the proceedings, it would be denied. The Court is not convinced 25 from Chevron's brief that Plaintiffs' class action could succeed 26 under no set of circumstances. 27 that this is one of the rare and exceptional cases in which class 28 allegations should be stricken at the motion to dismiss stage. Chevron has failed to demonstrate 14 1 Accordingly, Chevron's motion to strike or dismiss the class 2 allegations on the pleadings is DENIED. 3 4 5 V. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant Chevron strike. 8 United States District Court Corporation's motion to dismiss and DENIES Chevron's motion to 7 For the Northern District of California 6 Plaintiffs may amend their FAC only to add facts demonstrating that 9 (1) the named plaintiffs suffered injury sufficient to confer Plaintiffs' FAC is DISMISSED with leave to amend. 10 standing and (2) the named plaintiffs suffered harm different in 11 kind to support private maintenance of public nuisance claims. 12 Plaintiffs shall file an amended complaint that addresses the 13 concerns identified above within fourteen (14) days of the 14 signature date of this Order. 15 dismissal of this action with prejudice. Failure to do so may result in 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 Dated: August 21, 2014 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 15

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