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Family Farm Suing Over Pollution of Fresh Water Supply in the San Joaquin Valley

BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Sept. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As oil companies inject underground massive amounts of salt water in the San Joaquin Valley, a consortium of law firms throughout California filed a lawsuit alleging that fresh water supplying the 92 year old family farm is being polluted by that salt water.



Palla Farms owns orchards in the San Joaquin Valley, growing almonds, pistachios, and, until recently, cherries. Palla Farms is suing several oil companies, including Crimson Resource Management Corp., Dole Enterprises, San Joaquin Facilities Management, Inc., and E & B Natural Resources Management. According to the lawsuit filed today in Kern County Superior Court, these Oil Companies store, transport, and then inject salt water underground near the fresh water used by Palla Farms.

In the last six years alone, these Oil Companies injected over 1.9 billion gallons of salt water within a three mile radius of Palla Farms. Salt water pulled up during oil production contains extremely high amounts of total dissolved solids and high concentrations of boron and sodium chloride. All three are toxic to cherries and almonds. Palla Farms ultimately was forced to remove the dying cherry orchard in 2012.

Farms in the San Joaquin Valley depend heavily upon fresh water underground to maintain consistent food production, especially in drought years. Indeed, these farms provide 25% of the nation's table food. The mishandling of salt water by these Oil Companies is polluting the fresh water needed by these farmers. High amounts of chloride (a component of salt) and boron in the water injected by the Oil Companies underground makes the fresh water unsuitable for irrigation. If the salt levels remain high, Palla Farms will have to remove the almond trees too.

"Palla Farms is just beginning to experience the detrimental impact as they attempt to pump clean water from the aquifer to grow the trees in their remaining orchards," said lead attorney Patricia K. Oliver, with the R. Rex Parris law firm. "The Palla family must now decide whether to continue farming in a valley once so natural for farming because of the unique Mediterranean climate and abundant fresh water." Palla Farms brings this lawsuit to recover costs to be paid for remediation of the environmental damage caused by the Oil Companies. The Oil Companies should comply with the regulations to confine the salt water or clean it before injecting it so close to the aquifer.

"This case seeks to abate environmental harm and prevent future harm to all farmers in the San Joaquin Valley and to the 25 million people who depend on water from the California Aqueduct for drinking," added Oliver.

A copy of the detailed lawsuit with charts, graphs and photos can be found at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/11759/file/28806.pdf

Palla Farms Background:

Palla family had been relying upon water from the underlying aquifers for the last 86 years and used the water underlying their Rosedale orchard since 1982. Ferdinand Palla began farming in the San Joaquin Valley in 1922, and his children continue this tradition today. Palla Farms owns an orchard, growing almonds, and pistachios, and, until recently, cherry trees in Rosedale, California.

About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm

For over 25 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved workers. Rex and his dedicated team provide thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. From motor vehicle crashes to class actions and defective products, these lawyers fight aggressively against corporate defense attorneys and insurance companies to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information, visit rrexparris.com

About Casey Gerry

Celebrating more than 65 years in San Diego, Casey Gerry was established in 1947 and is the oldest plaintiffs' law firm in San Diego. The firm's 14 attorneys practice in numerous areas, including serious personal injury, product liability, pharmaceutical, mass tort, and class action litigation. Located in the Banker's Hill neighborhood of San Diego, the firm also has a satellite office in Carlsbad, Calif. For more information, visit www.caseygerry.com

About Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

Based on the San Francisco Peninsula for over 45 years, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy engages exclusively in litigation and trials. The firm's dedication to prosecuting or defending socially just actions has earned it a national reputation. With offices in Burlingame, Los Angeles, Sacramento, New York and Washington D.C., the core of the firm is its people and their dedication to principles of law, their work ethic and commitment to justice. For more information, visit www.cpmlegal.com

About the Ernst Law Group

A native of San Luis Obispo County, Don Ernst leads the Ernst Law Group in handling personal injury cases and consumer litigation. For over 35 years, the Ernst Law Group has been preserving and protecting the rights of California consumers and citizens by litigating and trying cases that make a difference. The firm's attorneys provide statewide expertise in serious personal injury, product liability, insurance bad faith, and class actions. For more information, visit www.ernstlawgroup.com

CONTACT: Patricia Oliver (661) 949-2595 poliver@rrexparris.comSource: R. Rex Parris Law Firm