October 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 291

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October 18, 2021

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Private and Governmental Plaintiffs File Toxic Tort Suits Over L.A. Gas Leak

In perhaps the most well-publicized environmental release incident since Deepwater Horizon, Southern California Gas Co. faces a number of toxic tort-based lawsuits stemming from a natural gas leak at one of its storage wells in an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood.  See Gandsey v. Southern California Gas Co., BC601844 (L.A. Cty. Superior Ct.).The leak was discovered October 23, 2015. The utility announced on February 12, 2016 that it temporarily controlled the leak.  Some of the approximately 25,000 residents have sought temporary housing elsewhere, while some who have stayed have complained of a range of health effects. 

Approximately 25 civil actions have been consolidated in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  The lead suit is a putative class action filed by nearby residents of the Porter Ranch neighborhood seeking damages and injunctive relief based upon negligence and nuisance.  Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and monetary damages from the gas company for alleged health effects including nausea, dizziness, vomiting, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and headaches. 

The City of Los Angeles also filed suit, alleging public nuisance and unfair business practices that have long-term climate implications and caused injuries to residents.  The California Attorney General intervened in the suit in February 2016, and filed papers amending the City’s suit to include allegations on behalf of the City and County of Los Angeles, the California Air Resources Board, and the People of California.  These public plaintiffs seek civil penalties and injunctive relief to permanently stop the leak, prevent future leaks, and mitigate alleged climate change effects.

© 2021 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 43
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About this Author

Anthony G. Papetti Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Associate

Anthony’s practice focuses on general environmental litigation and automotive regulatory compliance.

For the past two years, his experience has been extensively involved in the Department of Justice-appointed Independent Corporate Compliance Monitor and Audit matter in connection with the Volkswagen AG diesel emissions proceedings. During this experience, Anthony has gained tremendous insight into complex corporate compliance management systems and the automotive product development process, including both domestic and international vehicle emissions certification...

202-789-6042
Graham C. Zorn Environmental, Toxic Tort, Products Liability Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Washington, DC
Principal

Graham Zorn focuses his practice on environmental, toxic tort, and products liability litigation.

His representative experience includes extensive work on a series of complex products liability and toxic tort cases related to alleged groundwater, and litigation over lead in drinking water. He has represented individual businesses, trade associations, and municipalities in litigation, as well as in compliance, enforcement, and counseling matters involving the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA and other state and federal environmental statutes. He also counsels domestic and...

202-789-6024
Daniel M. Krainin Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY
Principal

Dan deploys more than two decades of environmental litigation experience to resolve clients’ legal and business challenges.

Primarily focused on environmental and toxic tort litigation, Dan helps clients successfully resolve groundwater contamination, hazardous waste site remediation, natural resource damages, permit defense and product-related matters. He enjoys using his skills as a litigator to help clients solve environmental problems.

Among his many wins, Dan successfully led a team that defeated an emergency challenge to a permit that Dan’s client needed to continue its...

212-702 5417
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