On Thursday, February 28, 2019, in a significant victory for the Navajo Nation, Chief U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson denied the United States' motion to dismiss the Navajo Nation’s claims. This means all of the Navajo Nation’s claims against the federal government arising out of the unprecedented 2015 Gold King Mine will proceed.
As noted in the Law360 article, partner Moez Kaba said, “We look forward to a trial as soon as possible where the Navajo Nation can finally obtain recovery for this unprecedented environmental disaster.”
The 2015 spill occurred when EPA workers assessing a leak at the Gold King Mine accidentally destroyed a dam holding back water contaminated with arsenic, mercury, cadmium, iron and copper, releasing the tainted water into an Animas River tributary that in turn flowed into the San Juan River and the Colorado River.
The Navajo Nation is represented by John Hueston, Moez Kaba, Andrew Walsh, and Stephen Richards.