The original lawsuit in Comer v. Murphy Oil alleged tort claims against several oil companies about the effect of global warming on Hurricane Katrina. The district court dismissed the claims in that original suit on standing and political question grounds; then, after a Fifth Circuit panel initially reversed in part; the appeal was dismissed after recusals made en banc review impossible after a vote to grant review by the full Court. In this new case, the plaintiffs refiled, the district court dismissed on the grounds of res judicata since its original ruling was not affected by the appeal, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed. No. 12-60291 (May 14, 2013). The Court reviewed the policies behind the doctrine of res judicata and declined to create an equitable exception to the doctrine for this case.
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