Gas company fails to maintain well, causing thousands of people to seek new housing
Large corporations, including gas and oil companies, must be held accountable for injuries and other damage they cause. In Porter Ranch, a faulty natural gas well has been leaking since October 23, 2015. According to a lawsuit filed against Southern California Gas Company, the leak is not just venting natural gas. Additional harmful substances such as benzene, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and methane are mixed with the gas.
The well in question has been used for storage since 1973. A missing safety valve is to blame for the current leak. SoCal Gas now admits it did not replace the safety valve when it was removed in 1979.
Located approximately a mile from a residential area, the leaking well is releasing gas and other toxins into the nearby community. Homes and schools have been temporarily evacuated while efforts to repair the well are underway.
Depending on the result of pending litigation, SoCal Gas may have to pay for its negligence. It is important that individuals understand their rights when situations such as this occur. You may feel as if you cannot stand up to large companies. However, with the help of experienced attorneys, you can assert your rights.
Toxic exposure litigation is a unique area of law. If you or a family member has been injured by toxic gas, water, lead, asbestos, silica, benzene or mold, speak with a lawyer about your rights and options.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Leaking gas well in Porter Ranch area lacked a working safety valve,” Zahira Torres and Frank Shyong, January 3, 2016.