Court Dismisses Highly Publicized LEED Lawsuit.

18 Aug 2011

Yesterday the U.S. District Court in New York City dismissed in its entirety the lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council by Henry Gifford and others which alleged, among other things, violations of the Sherman and Lanham Acts for creating an illegal monopoly and “deceiving users” of the LEED system.  According to the USGBC’s press release, the Court held that “none of the plaintiffs in the action had alleged or could allege any legal interest to be protected by their lawsuit.”

As suggested by a number of people (including myself) when the lawsuit was initially filed, Gifford, the lead plaintiff and a self-proclaimed energy efficiency guru, was not a LEED AP nor did he own any LEED-certified property; thus, many speculated he may have a difficult time demonstrating that he was actually harmed even if he could prove false advertising by the USGBC.  Based upon the USGBC’s press release, it appears those facts may have been the downfall of Gifford’s claims (which, by the way, the court dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning that Gifford  and the other plaintiffs are barred from filing a new suit based on the same claims).

What the court didn’t appear to address; however, were the actual merits of Gifford’s claims.  If that in fact is the case, and the dismissal was based the plaintiffs’ lack of standing, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gifford finds a “better plaintiff” and files a similar lawsuit in the near future.  I suspect this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Gifford.

Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply