Monster Cases

ApocalypseStSeverFol148vHorsesWithHeadsOfLions2.jpgHere’s a challenge: what’s the oldest active litigation pending in the federal district courts? I’m coding dockets (as always) and I came across a monster in the Southern District of Ohio that has been pending since 1991 (it’s a CERCLA case relating to the United Scrap Lead site located in Troy Ohio). The government continues, it seems, to seek pockets to pay cleanup costs, seventeen years into the case.

Can you beat that?

(Image Source, Wikicommons, Folio 148v of the Apocalypse of St. Sever (St. Sever Beatus), The horses with heads of lions.)

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4 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    What do you mean by “active”? Check this out on CMECF: Bridgeport Guardians v. Delmonte, No. 78-175 (D. Conn. filed May 1, 1978).

  2. Scott says:

    Oh, environmental cases regularly go on longer than that. Try Firebaugh Canal Co, et al v. USA, et al., 1:88-cv-00634-OWW-DLB (E.D. Cal.), which has had filings this year.

  3. Jack S. says:

    Festo comes to mind (Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co.)

    Started in 1988, two round trips to the SCOTUS and as far as I know is still going all about the technicalities of the doctrine of equivalents in Patent law.

    May or may not be the longest running, but geez, 2 round trips to SCOTUS?!

  4. greglas says:

    Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.