- January 6, 2016
LOS ANGELES – The natural gas leak that drove thousands of people from their homes has finally been plugged, according to a Southern California utility company.
A blowout spewed tons of methane gas into the air over the past 16 weeks over the Los Angeles neighborhood of Porter Ranch. Many families believe the gas leak caused them to become ill and in some cases, the gas leak is blamed for causing wrongful and premature deaths.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney at The Barnes Firm says many lawsuits have already been filed against the gas company and there’s still time for others to demand compensation.
“The leak might be capped but families are still suffering from this disaster that affected a large part of Los Angeles,” personal injury attorney John Sheehan said. “Even those who haven’t experienced health effects could receive compensation because they were driven away from their homes and businesses for months.”
According to NPR, the gas leak is only temporarily plugged and the company has been ordered to permanently shut down the well.
The leak is expected to cost SoCalGas Co. $250 to $300 million, according to a report from the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, that number only accounts for the costs of closing the gap on the massive gas leak.
Government agencies could place hefty fines and more families could file claims. Currently, the company is facing more than 60 lawsuits and the number is expected to rise.
“The gas is invisible but its impact is very clear,” Sheehan said. “Subdivisions were left vacant and some schools were shut down.”
Nearly 5,000 families are now waiting for their homes, businesses and schools to be declared ‘safe to inhabit.’ Once the area is cleared by regulators, residents who are currently in hotel rooms will have eight days to move back into their homes, according to the agreement between the utility company and the L.A. City Attorney’s Office.
Despite the possibility of returning home, Los Angeles personal injury attorneys say life for some may never return to normal.
If you have been affected by this gas leak, you could be eligible to file a Porter Ranch gas leak lawsuit. Contact The Barnes Firm today to learn more about how to protect your legal rights.
The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000