February 9, 2023 – Multiple shipping companies have agreed to pay $45 million to class members who were injured from the 25,000 gallon oil pipeline leak offshore Huntington Beach, California, in October 2021. The shipping companies are Capetanissa Maritime Corporation, Costamare Shipping Co., S.A., V.Ships Greece Ltd., and the M/V Beijing (collectively, “Capetanissa”) and Doredellas Finance Corp., MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co., S.A., Mediterranean Shipping Co. S.r.l., MSC Shipmanagement Ltd., and MSC Danit (collectively, “Doredellas”). The tentative resolution—which after finalizing additional settlement terms will be jointly presented to Judge David O. Carter (C.D. Cal.) for approval—is the result of a months-long negotiation between legal counsel for the class members, Capetanissa, and Doredellas under the auspices of mediators Hon. Layn R. Phillips (Fmr.) and Hon. Sally Shushan (Ret.).
Class members alleged that Capetanissa’s and Doredellas’ container ship vessels repeatedly crossed over and struck the oil pipeline owned by Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. with their anchors on January 25, 2021, during a heavy weather event. The container ships’ anchor strikes, the class members claim, displaced the pipeline and damaged the pipeline’s concrete casing, leading to the pipeline’s failure nine months later. Capetanissa and Dordellas have denied the class members’ allegations. Amplify Energy, the pipeline owner, previously settled with the class members in October 2022 for $50 million.
This settlement, combined with the Amply Energy settlement, provides close to $100 million to class members whose businesses and property were harmed by the spill. “It is a result the Orange County coastal community can be proud of, and its it sends a clear message to large corporations operating off the coast of California that they will be held responsible for their negligence,” states the class members’ legal counsel Wylie Aitkin, Lexi Hazam, and Stephen Larson.
While the class members’ settlement with Capetanissa and Doredellas resolves the class members’ claims, the pipeline owners and operators (Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Company, LLC, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company) claims against the shipping entities remain outstanding, with a trial date looming in the coming months.
As the settlement terms are finalized in the coming weeks, additional information will be made available to class members and the public.
Wylie Aitken 714-273-9273; firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexi Hazam 415-956-1000; email@example.com
Stephen Larson 909-285-5632; firstname.lastname@example.org
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