Porter Ranch Residents Ask Governor to Call a State of Emergency Over Aliso Canyon Gas Well Failure

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lawyers representing Save Porter Ranch and hundreds of homeowners impacted by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) massive gas well failure have called on Governor Jerry Brown to declare an immediate state of emergency to help Porter Ranch residents.

Among other things, such a declaration would allow residents to seek emergency relief on mortgage payments and allow local authorities to obtain additional resources to help the over 3,500 families that are fleeing the disaster area as a result of this public health emergency. Declaring a state of emergency provides local governments with the powers necessary to coordinate and implement plans aimed at protecting people and property during a disaster.

“SoCalGas has failed miserably to relocate families, address medical needs, or compensate them for their financial losses as a result of SoCalGas’ negligence. We have entire families experiencing severe health issues as a result of the leak. We now have evidence that shows that the noxious gas is harming family pets. The problem cannot be solved by local government alone. We need the entire state of California, including the state agencies and the governor’s office, to assist and support local officials who are on the forefront in dealing with this crisis,” said environmental lawyer and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“Southern California Gas Company has shown complete disregard not only for the safety of communities near these defective wells but also for the adverse short and long-term impacts on the health of its customers," says Brian Panish. "The company’s slogan, 'Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years,' rings hollow in the ears of the hundreds of Porter Ranch residents displaced from their homes in the holiday season thanks to SoCalGas’ failure to live up to this promise."

The Aliso Canyon massive well failure was caused by, “an injection well failure and blowout...sending natural gas mixed with various other chemicals including benzene (a known carcinogen) hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and methane into the air and settling in the Porter Ranch community. Now, residents are breathing in toxic fumes that are making them sick," said R. Rex Parris.

“In addition to the Governor needing to declare a state of emergency, we are calling on SoCalGas to coordinate immediately with the Los Angeles Police Department and provide armed patrols 24 hours a day to protect the hundreds of empty residences that now exist in the Porter Ranch community,” added attorney R. Rex Parris.

“The California Air Resources Board released a report estimating that natural gas at the Aliso Canyon storage facility is currently leaking at a rate of approximately 50,000 kilograms per hour. Other estimates suggest that this is 25% of all methane released in California. Even at low levels of exposure; these chemicals impair the quality of life. In Porter Ranch, SoCalGas admits there are outdoor air samples of hydrogen sulfide at levels of 183 ppb. This is more than six times the state standard for minor impacts that cause headaches and nausea, the complaint alleges. The massive uncontrolled gas blowout is expected to cost Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) shareholders well over $1 billion dollars,” added Parris.

For more information and to view the massive amount of poisonous gas being emitted by the shocking and unprecedented well failure, visit www.porterranchlawsuit.com

About Kennedy & Madonna

Kennedy & Madonna, LLP is an environmental law firm that specializes in representing communities that have been impacted by pollution. The firm uses a variety of legal tools including federal citizen suits, administrative challenges and tort law to hold polluters accountable for their actions. The firm was formed in 2000 by founding partners Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kevin J. Madonna. For more information, visit www.kennedymadonna.com

About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a plaintiff's personal injury law firm that takes on large corporations and government entities whose negligence causes our clients' injuries, and holds them accountable. In June 2014, Panish Shea & Boyle obtained at $19.8 million jury verdict to a man who suffered severe burn and traumatic brain injuries when his rental home exploded as a result of a Southern California Gas Company's negligence. In 2008, the firm obtained a $15 million jury verdict against SoCalGas for a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a company truck. Panish Shea & Boyle LLP also represented numerous plaintiffs in the San Bruno PG&E gas explosion cases. Our attorneys are and have always been champions of consumer rights. The size, clout or financial strength of wrongdoers is never a deterrent to our pursuit for justice. For more information, visit www.psblaw.com

About the Law Firm of Morgan & Morgan

Morgan & Morgan is one of the largest exclusively plaintiffs' law firms in the US, with 25 offices throughout Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York. The firm handles cases nationally and has been a leader in cases such as the BP Oil spill and Chinese Drywall litigation. We have over 300 lawyers with years of experience involving personal injury, medical malpractice, consumer class action, and securities fraud--as well as complex litigation against drug and medical device manufacturers. For more information, visit www.forthepeople.com

About The R. Rex Parris Law Firm

For over 30 years, R. Rex Parris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved workers. With over $1.1 Billion recovered on behalf of clients, Rex and his dedicated team has the experience and track record necessary to help families in need. The R. Rex Parris Law Firm provides thorough, high-quality representation with integrity and compassion. These lawyers fight aggressively to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. For more information, visit www.rrexparris.com.

Media Contacts: Angela Bailey (909) 286-4040 bailey@psblaw.com Dante Hickles (661) 949-2595 or dhickles@rrexparris.com

Source: R. Rex Parris Law Firm