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Monday September 27, 2021

Global Settlement in Southern California Gas Leak Cases

We are pleased to announce that, after six years of litigation, Sempra Energy and SoCalGas have agreed to pay up to $1.8 billion to resolve all eligible claims in the Southern California Gas Leak Cases.

 

The global settlement comes nearly six years to the day after the largest release of methane gas in United States History. The blowout of oil and gas well SS-25 at Aliso Canyon caused tremendous harm to the surrounding communities and businesses, resulting in eight thousand plaintiffs being relocated for months on end. Displaced from their homes, these plaintiffs were forced to live in cramped hotel rooms far from home, work, and childcare. Those who stayed in the community during the blowout suffered from nosebleeds, respiratory symptoms, nausea, vomiting, and other physical symptoms from the blowout. All our clients have harrowing experiences from the blowout. We are very pleased to have secured up to $1.8 billion to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries and hold Sempra and SoCalGas accountable

for the aftermath of the SS-25 blowout. Coupled with the roughly $550 million in funds covering the relocation and cleaning costs of Plaintiffs previously paid by Sempra and SoCalGas, Defendants will have paid up to $2.35 billion to those impacted by the blowout.

 

This litigation has been intensely fought on behalf of all 35,717 plaintiffs, with Plaintiffs conducting over 585 days of depositions and filing/opposing roughly fifty motions, writs, and appeals. Importantly, a settlement will bring resolution to the plaintiffs’ claims as quickly as possible, as bringing all the cases to trial would take close to a decade and require enormous resources, assuming there were no further pandemic-related delays.

 

At this time, it is not yet possible to know how much each plaintiff will receive in the settlement, because the allocation protocol and methodology of distributing the funds have not been developed. We will post further information as it becomes available.

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