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

Criminal Conviction of Plains All American Pipeline For 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

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.” [Read more…]

California Utilities Commission Rules That Customers Will Not Pay Uninsured Costs of 2007 San Diego Fires

Northern California Wine Country Fires

The California Public Utilities Commission has unanimously ruled that the San Diego Gas & Electric Company and not its customers will have to pay $379+ million in uninsured costs relating to the 2007 fires in Witch, Guejito, and Rice that killed two people and destroyed over 1,300 homes. As reported by the Ventura County Star, “Investigators found SDG&E failed to properly maintain its equipment and trim tree branches and chaparral growing near power lines, which arced and sparked as those infernos began.” San Diego Gas and its insurers did pay over $2 billion for filed claims, but the utility had sought to get its customers to pay for all remaining costs via rate hikes and other charges. [Read more…]

Hazardous Chemicals Found in Wells on Whidbey Island, WA, Residents Warned of Contaminated Water

Hazardous Chemicals Found in Wells on Whidbey Island, Residents Warned of Contaminated Water

A potentially hazardous and toxic chemical has been discovered in groundwater wells within and around the Navy airfield on Whidbey Island, Washington, contaminating the area water supply and raising serious health concerns. Residents have been warned of cancer and other risks from drinking the water coming from these now-polluted wells. [Read more…]