Although the oil and gas industry keeps many people employed, it is tainted with accident after accident. These accidents don’t just affect oil and gas workers. They often affect entire communities. Residents of Torrance, California are filing a class action lawsuit against Exxon Mobile. On February 15, 2015, an Exxon refinery in Torrance exploded. Ash rained down from the sky and many of the residents developed health problems after being exposed to the ash and pollutants in the air.
A History of Problems Before the Torrance Class Action Lawsuit
The explosion wasn’t necessarily a surprise. According to documents from the class action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Exxon knew that there were serious problems in the refinery. It is alleged that they’ve known about the problems since 2006. Around 2014, there was an impending sale of the Exxon plant. There were repairs that had to be done. The class action lawsuit complaint states that the defendant chose profit over people and rushed through the necessary repairs. The facility was sold for a half billion dollars to PBF Energy, also named as a defendant.
Environmental Dangers Mentioned in Class Action Lawsuit
In addition to allegations of health problems developed by some of the residents, the class action lawsuit asserts that Exxon released hundreds of pounds of toxins into the air because of their lack of pollution control devices. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health ordered Exxon to suspend operations in this facility until they could prove to the state that were operating in a safe manner. However, the class action lawsuit also asserts that Exxon continues to operate the facility in an “ultrahazardous” way. The complaint states that since then, there have been several fires, leaks, and releases of toxic material into the air.
Why a Class Action Lawsuit Was Filed
There are approximately 330,000 people in Torrance. There are 71 schools and eight hospitals. Some of the named plaintiffs have listed throat injuries and the development of asthma. Injuries to pets were also mentioned after exposure to the ash from the explosion. Class action lawsuits are a type of lawsuit that makes it faster for the court system to handle multiple claims (that are similar in nature) against the same defendant (or defendants). Imagine if 330,000 people filed individual lawsuits against Exxon and the amount of time that it would take for the matters to be heard and, ultimately, concluded. Plaintiffs could wait years to be heard in court. Over time, it could be harder for plaintiffs to remember exactly what happened. Files and evidence can be lost. Doctors could retire. A class action lawsuit has a few named plaintiffs who represent the entire group of affected persons. If the class action lawsuit is successfully litigated or settled on behalf of the plaintiffs, the amount of compensation is then split between eligible class action recipients.
Goldwater Law Firm
Goldwater Law Firm represents people who are hurt because of a defective device, unexpected side effects from medication, and in class action lawsuits. If you’ve been hurt, call Goldwater Law Firm right away. Time is limited to file these types of claims. We want to help you protect your legal rights.