LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hon. Daniel Buckley issued a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the ongoing Porter Ranch Gas Leak case stating that the issue of punitive damages will require trial.
At a hearing on January 6, 2021, Judge Buckley ruled against SoCalGas and its parent company Sempra Energy in its motion for summary adjudication given the evidence Plaintiffs presented “about Defendants’ approach to the management and operation of SS-25 at Aliso Canyon.”
This ruling clears a pathway for residents, homeowners, first responders and others impacted by the gas blowout and its subsequent cover-up to recoup the damages they each suffered at the hands of SoCalGas and Sempra.
“This is a huge step forward for those exposed to all manner of toxic chemicals at Porter Ranch,” said attorney R. Rex Parris of PARRIS LAW FIRM. “Judge Buckley rightly pointed out the ‘despicable conduct’ of SoCalGas throughout the gas leak as well as its subsequent legal maneuvering to avoid being held accountable. This is a great day for justice.”
Prior to Judge Buckley issuing his final order, Sempra and SoCalGas lead trial counsel David L. Schrader stated to the court that he had “some serious concerns with some of the tone and tenor” of the tentative, as written.
“With respect to the issue of malice, your honor, I will simply say this. Southern California Gas Company has been serving this community for 150 years. Its employees, some of whom are mentioned in the courts tentative, did not address safety issues cavalierly,” said Mr. Schrader to the court. “…But assuming the court’s order stands, it’s clear that this case will have to be tried, and we’ll focus our attention on that.”
“For years SoCalGas and Sempra neglected its Aliso Canyon Facility and ignored the dangerous conditions of its storage wells, what happened at that facility didn’t happen overnight,” said attorney Brian Panish of Panish Shea & Boyle. “We look forward to trial and holding the utility accountable for its despicable conduct.”
This is the second consecutive ruling Sempra Energy and SoCalGas have lost in as many months.
The case is Southern California Gas Leak JCCP & Other Related Cases, JCCP 4861 and Related Cases. A copy of the ruling can be found here.
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: http://www.parrislawyers.com.
About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, mass torts/class action, and business litigation cases. Firm attorneys serve in leadership roles in some of the largest personal injury cases against utility companies in California and have obtained some of the most significant awards for plaintiffs in U.S. history. The firm is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® as a “Tier 1” law firm in the areas of Plaintiffs Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions, Plaintiffs Personal Injury Litigation and Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation and named among the top Plaintiff’s law firms in the nation by National Law Journal.