A global settlement of up to $1.8 billion was reached in the Aliso Canyon Well Blowout lawsuit. The settlement was achieved after nearly six years of intense litigation led by a coordinated team of plaintiffs’ attorneys, including Robin Greenwald and Devin Bolton of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C.; Brian J. Panish and Jesse Creed of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP; 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; R. Rex Parris and Patricia K. Oliver of Parris Law Firm; and Roland Tellis and Evan Zucker of Baron & Budd, P.C..
On October 23, 2015, a massive gas leak was discovered at the Standard Sesnon 25 (“SS-25”) well in Aliso Canyon, California. In the days and weeks that followed, people living in the community reported strong odors and suffered physical symptoms, two schools were moved, and nearly 8,000 households were forced to relocate to temporary housing – some up to an hour away from their homes and jobs.
The blowout continued without interruption for 118 days, resulting in the release of approximately 100,000 metric tons of methane gas and other contaminants into the surrounding area. (1) It was, and continues to be, the largest natural gas leak in U.S. history.
“We have such wonderful clients, who have endured so much – both during the blowout and in the six years that followed – as they patiently waited for justice. This is a fantastic result for a deserving community,” states Ms. Bolton.
This settlement agreement is for lawsuits consolidated under Southern California Gas Leak Cases, Coordinated Proceeding JCCP4861, in California Superior Court for Los Angeles County.
Subject to certain conditions, the settlement money will be allocated among the 35,000 plaintiffs for personal injury and property damage. This will be done in accordance with an allocation protocol to be developed by neutral, independent allocators.
Winning Environmental Lawsuits
The attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg have been pursuing personal injury cases for clients for three decades. W&L has an established record of settling and winning toxic substances exposure lawsuits. W&L attorneys have won $17 billion for our clients.
Some of our other large wins for clients include an $18.7 billion settlement with BP over a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Large numbers of people and areas of the environment were affected by this disaster in the Gulf Coast.
W&L attorneys also achieved a $423 million settlement due to the contamination of public water systems. The systems were contaminated with MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) by large oil companies.
Ms. Greenwald, head of Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental, Toxic Tort & Consumer Protection Unit, was co-lead counsel on the weed killer Roundup litigation. The settlement against Monsanto resulted in compensation for our clients exposed to glyphosate. Exposure led to a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer.