Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Criminal Conviction of Plains All American Pipeline For 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Criminal Conviction of Plains All American Pipeline For 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill Should Help Plaintiffs in Related Civil Cases

Thousands of Fishermen, Oil Workers and Property Owners Follow Criminal Suit with Civil Action for Losses Relating to Refugio State Beach Oil Spill

Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline has been found guilty of criminal charges relating to the 2015 oil spill at Santa Barbara’s Refugio State Beach. That verdict is very likely to help class action plaintiffs in the related civil suits stemming from the spill. “We think it is critically important that the criminal jury has determined beyond reasonable doubt that Plains knowingly engaged in or caused the discharge or spill of oil into the waters of the state,” notes Lieff Cabraser attorney and co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel Robert J. Nelson. “Our view is that the verdict has a preclusive impact on our case,” added Nelson. “We hope to take advantage of many aspects of this criminal trial, not just the verdicts. We’ll see what happens when we make that motion to our court.”

Thousands of fisherman, oil workers and property owners are suing Plains after its ruptured pipeline sent 140,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, soiling beaches and impacting local fisheries. Plains, now found guilty of nine criminal charges for causing this worst California coastal spill in 25 years, still faces the federal class-action civil lawsuit brought by Lieff Cabraser and its co-counsel on behalf of owners of affected beachfront property, fishing boat operators, and petroleum industry and oil workers who lost jobs because of the spill.

Read the full article on the Daily Journal site (subscription required).

Learn more about Lieff Cabraser’s Santa Barbara/Plains Oil Spill class action.

Lieff Cabraser’s Environmental Protection Work

Lieff Cabraser is at the forefront of environmental lawsuits prosecuting cases against many of the world’s most powerful corporations, obtaining compensation for families and property owners harmed by toxic environmental exposures. Our notable successes include the co-representation of 69 families in Toms River, New Jersey with children whose cancer was linked to environmental contamination caused by Ciba, Union Carbide, and United Water Resources; work as co-lead Class Counsel in a suit against Unocal arising from a series of toxic releases from Unocal’s refinery in Rodeo, California and leading to a settlement of $80 million on behalf of 10,000 individuals; and our work as co-lead counsel in the nationwide class action against DuPont charging that its herbicide Imprelis caused widespread death among trees and other non-targeted vegetation across the U.S. where approximately $400 million was paid to 25,000 claimants.

Contact Lieff Cabraser

If you have suffered an economic loss or property damage because of the Santa Barbara oil spill, please contact Lieff Cabraser for a free, no obligation review of your claim.

Lieff Cabraser possesses the expertise and financial resources to thoroughly investigate environmental cases and hold the defendants accountable. We have successfully prosecuted cases against many of the world’s most powerful corporations obtaining multiple billions of dollars in recoveries, including for families, businesses and property owners.