On May 26, 2022, Central District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez granted preliminary approval to a proposed $230 million settlement in the class action lawsuit arising from an oil spill off Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County in May 2015. The spill occurred when a pipeline owned by Plains ruptured, and oil from the pipeline flowed into the Pacific Ocean, soiling beaches and impacting local fisheries.

Lieff Cabraser represents homeowners who lost the use of the beachfront amenity that they pay a premium for, local oil platform workers who were laid off as a result of the spill and subsequent closure of the pipeline, as well as fishers whose catch was impacted by the oil spill. From the proposed settlement monies, $46 million will go to the property owners class, and $184 million will go to the fishers class.

The complaint in the lawsuit alleged that Plains and other defendants failed to properly monitor and maintain the pipeline, ignored clear signs that the pipeline was corroded and in danger of bursting, and failed to promptly respond to the oil spill when the inevitable rupture occurred.

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing for the proposed settlement on September 16, 2022.

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

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