A historic settlement for the Porter Ranch community after a six-year battle with the Southern California Gas Company over the Aliso Canyon gas leak. This resolves the claims for the largest and longest natural gas leak in U.S. history. SCG has agreed to pay 1.8 billion dollars to resolve these personal injury claims. Kiesel Law was honored to serve in the role of plaintiffs liaison counsel.
Let’s look at what happened leading up to the Porter Ranch gas leak settlement.
Porter Ranch: What Happened?
On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Company workers discovered gas was escaping from a well within the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility near Porter Ranch, California. The leak lasted 118 days and released an estimated 109,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. It was determined that the cause of the leak was a well failure in the underground storage facility. Thousands of residents in the surrounding area reported experiencing health issues due to the foul-smelling gas and reported symptoms such as headaches, nosebleeds, and nausea.
The Aliso Canyon gas leak led to the displacement of more than 100,000 residents of Porter Ranch and surrounding areas, many of whom were relocated to temporary housing while the leak was being controlled and the facility was being repaired. Eventually, SoCalGas was able to plug the well, but not before nearly 100,000 tons of methane and other gases were released into the atmosphere.
The incident also resulted in significant concerns about the environmental impact of the methane release, contributing to air quality issues and concerns about climate change due to methane’s potency as a greenhouse gas.
The Legal Battle Leading to the Porter Ranch Settlement
In the wake of the leak, 35,717 individuals filed personal injury and property damage claims against Southern California Gas Company, the operator of the Aliso Canyon facility. The lawsuits alleged that SoCalGas was negligent in its operation of the facility and that the leak caused personal injury and property damage.
In September 2016, SoCalGas pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of failing to immediately report the leak. The company was also fined $4 million and ordered to pay for the cost of housing displaced residents.
In September 2021, six years after the leak began, SoCalGas agreed to a $1.8 billion settlement with the plaintiffs in the Porter Ranch gas leak lawsuits. The settlement will provide compensation for personal injury, property damage, and economic losses. It will also fund a health study to assess the long-term health effects of the leak.
The Porter Ranch gas leak settlement is the largest ever paid by a utility company for a gas leak. It is a significant victory for the plaintiffs and a step towards holding SoCalGas accountable for its negligence.
The Aliso Canyon gas leak was a major environmental disaster that caused widespread harm to the community. The settlement is a significant step towards providing compensation to the victims of the leak, but it is important to continue to hold SoCalGas accountable for its negligence.
How Kiesel Law LLP Can Help
At Kiesel Law LLP, we are proud to have been a part of such a monumental case, and we will continue to fight for justice for victims of toxic tort and other personal injury cases.
If you or someone you love has been injured or the victim of wrongdoing, including pollution, please get in touch with us today to discuss your case. We have a proven track record of success, having secured over $3.8 billion in verdicts and settlements, and we assure you of the best possible representation.