U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
The San Diego Gas & Electric Company (“SDG&E”) sold land in Lemon Grove, California to a real estate developer. Before the development could be built, SDG&E needed to remove natural gas pipelines on the Lemon Grove property. The pipes were installed in the 1950s and were wrapped in a thick casing of material thought to contain asbestos. The government issued a notice of violation, and SDG&E found itself in criminal court. After a jury trial found defendant SDG&E liable, the district court granted a new trial and the government appealed.
NFIB’s amicus brief argues that SDG&E lacked fair notice of how the government would apply its own rules and a new trial is warranted. A favorable outcome will help ensure that all small businesses have adequate notice of how government regulations apply to them.
Status: DECIDED. Amicus brief filed on 11/04/08. Ninth Circuit affirmed district court order in favor of SDG&E.