LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorneys representing thousands of victims of the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility gas well blowout in Porter Ranch have filed a petition with the court to set aside the plea agreement SoCalGas entered with the Los Angeles District Attorney (LADA), stating the plea violates both the California State Constitution and the California Penal Code.
“Specifically, the motion documents the failure of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to inform the victims of the proposed plea and failure to ensure restitution in violation of the State Constitution,” said attorney Brian Panish. “The petition also documents the failure to comply with the Penal Code requirements for acceptance of a guilty plea.”
Attorney R. Rex Parris added, “It would be reprehensible if there is the slightest appearance that the established law and the rules governing restitution were ignored to the benefit of the Defendant and to the detriment of the victims.”
In February 2016, the Los Angeles District Attorney filed four misdemeanor criminal charges against SoCalGas for releasing air contaminants at its Aliso Canyon Storage Facility and failing to report the release until three days after the October 2015 blowout began.
Under the plea agreement announced last month, SoCalGas pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of failing to immediately notify the California Office of Emergency Services and the Los Angeles County Fire Department, with the three remaining misdemeanor charges to be dismissed at sentencing. The plea agreement includes no requirement for a probation report, which would have resulted in notice to the victims and an opportunity to submit a claim for restitution.
Attorneys for the victims seek to have the plea withdrawn and request a restitution hearing to consider the victims’ economic losses as a result of the largest methane leak in American history before the court accepts the plea agreement or sentences the SoCalGas in November.
For over 30 years, Parris has been devoted to protecting the rights of injured people and aggrieved employees. 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 please visit www.parrislawyers.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. The size, clout or financial strength of wrongdoers is never a deterrent to our pursuit for justice. Our attorneys are and have always been champions of consumer rights. For more information, visit www.psblaw.com
Source: R. Rex Parris Law Firm