An additional 22 Porter Ranch firefighters have joined the lawsuit filed against Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) alleging the utility knowingly exposed firefighters to hazardous levels of known toxins following the massive gas blowout at the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility in October 2015. The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, brings the total number of firefighters suing the utility to 51 and highlights how SoCalGas and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAPDH) allegedly tried to bury information on the toxic levels of benzene by misrepresenting the findings.
“Our first responders were intentionally misled about the dangers they faced when rushing in to help Porter Ranch residents following the worst single natural gas blowout in U.S. history,“ said attorney Brian Panish. “We believe the actions of Southern California Gas Company has harmed these selfless public servants and we intend to hold the utility accountable for its false assurances that the gas coming from the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility was safe.”
First filed in October 2018, the lawsuit alleges that SoCalGas misled firefighters about the extent of the chemical exposure to workers stationed near Porter Ranch during the blowout. The utility company failed to protect the first responders tasked with protecting the public and exposed these firefighters to hazardous chemicals. Firefighters claim they suffered from, and in some cases continue to suffer from nosebleeds, migraine headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, sleeping difficulties, and breathing difficulties. Many now battle cancer.