Environmental Litigation

Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Issue: Pipeline rupture resulting in oil spill

Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel represent property owners, business owners, wage earners, and other harmed parties in class action litigation against Texas-based company Plains All American Pipeline, LP for the environmental damage and economic losses they suffered due to the Santa Barbara, California oil spill.

Fishers, Fish Buyers, And Other Businesses Affected By The May 19, 2015 Refugio State Beach Pipeline Rupture And Oil Spill Are Alerted That They Should Not Sign Away Any Rights In OPA Claims

On March 3, 2016, Judge Philip S. Gutierrez issued an order granting their requests for immediate changes to the way the pipeline companies responsible for the spill are permitted to communicate to plaintiffs and putative class members. Full details available here.

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Lawsuit

On the morning of May 19, 2015, an underground 10-mile long, 24-inch wide pipeline known as Line 901 ruptured, resulting in a discharge of up to 105,000 gallons of toxic crude oil along the coast of Refugio Sate Beach.

An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean, contaminating the water and 28 miles of coastline. As a result, the Department of Fish and Wildlife imposed an indefinite ban on fishing in a 138-square-mile zone from Canada de Alegria by Gaviota State Beach to Coal Oil Point in Isla Vista.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges that the oil spill has caused profound economic impacts in the region, harming the water, wildlife, and beaches. “In the short term, the oil from Plains All American’s ruptured pipeline has closed fishing grounds and shellfish areas, and caused canceled reservations from tourists who otherwise would be spending their money on hotels, restaurants, kayaking or surf trips, and fishing charters,” the complaint states.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, over 1,400 cleanup workers have been present on the oil spill site and have recovered 11,600 gallons of oily water. According to officials, 22 birds and 14 marine mammals have died and an additional 46 birds and 30 marine mammals have been rescued since the spill. In addition, federal regulators discovered that there was external corrosion in the ruptured oil pipeline. An investigation revealed that there was 45% metal loss of the pipe wall’s thickness in the area of the break.

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. Our notable environmental disaster and toxic exposure cases include: BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster, Kingston, Tennessee TVA Coal Ash Spill, and Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

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