LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The PARRIS Law Firm, together with Panish, Shea & Boyle and plaintiffs' counsel, announced a $1.8 billion settlement with Sempra Energy and SoCalGas over the Aliso Canyon gas well blow-out in Porter Ranch which released nearly 100,000 tons of methane and other toxins into the atmosphere over the span of almost 4 months.
The settlement covers more than 35,000 plaintiffs who were impacted by the October 2015 blowout. It is the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history. This settlement is also believed to be the largest settlement in a natural gas release case.
This settlement comes after years of legal victories by The PARRIS Law Firm and its co-counsel, including $5.7 million in discovery sanctions against the law firm that represented Sempra Energy. Combined with other settlements and relocation costs Sempra was forced to pay, the victory totals well over $2 billion.
An independent root cause analysis report, conducted by Blade Energy Partners in consultation with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) found SoCalGas did nothing to investigate the causes of the dozens of previous leaks at the facility caused by corroded pipes and other safety failures. Blade also found Sempra/SoCalGas did not assess the wells for disaster potential and that the well in question should have been plugged sooner. The leak wasn't finally stopped until February 11, 2016, 118 days after it was discovered.
"This is a long journey for all of us, most importantly the residents, homeowners, and first-responders who were present during the gas leak, which was entirely preventable," said attorney R. Rex Parris. "This settlement should go a long way toward helping everyone pay for the various health issues that have arisen due to this disaster."
The settlement involves three different agreements, the first of which will require roughly 97% participation by the plaintiffs, as well court approval of the allocation process and other conditions. The second and third phase of the agreement will also require court approval.
"These types of environmental tragedies ravage communities, damage the planet, and cause severe health problems for residents," said PARRIS Law Firm attorney Patricia Oliver. "Sempra has been held accountable and every public utility in California and the rest of the county has been put on notice that these types of catastrophes will not go unnoticed or unpunished."
The settlement was achieved after nearly six years of intense litigation led by a coordinated team of plaintiffs' attorneys, including R. Rex Parris and Patricia K. Oliver of Parris Law Firm; Brian J. Panish and Jesse Creed of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP; Robin Greenwald and Devin Bolton of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.; Raymond Boucher and Cathy Kim of Boucher LLP; Frank Pitre, Gary Praglin and Kelly Weil of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP; Michael Kelly and Lindsey Bayman of Kirtland & Packard LLP; Mariana McConnell and Paul Kiesel of Kiesel Law LLP; Frank Petosa of Morgan & Morgan; and Roland Tellis and Evan Zucker of Baron & Budd, P.C..
About PARRIS Law Firm
The PARRIS Law Firm is recognized as one of America's top personal injury, employment and environmental law firms. With a proven track record of fighting for justice on behalf of families and individuals, the firm boasts numerous seven and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. To learn more about the firm, please go to: https://www.parris.com.
Dante Hickles: (661) 949-2595 [email protected]
SOURCE PARRIS Law Firm