Sun Valley Gas Leak

Massive Gas Leak in the North San Fernando Valley Community of Sun Valley is Reportedly Making Residents Sick.

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Class Action Lawsuit Filing

On February 2, 2021, our law firm filed a class-action lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Water & Power (DWP) for their role in covering up a massive gas leak at the Sun Valley Generating Station for at least three years. 

The class action lawsuit alleges DWP harmed the largely LatinX and African American community when the utility knowingly allowed the Valley Generating Station to leak toxic gas for years. 

According to the complaint, residents in Sun Valley and Pacoima were exposed to poisonous fumes that caused recurring headaches, bloody noses, shortness of breath, severe anxiety, and nausea. 

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) distributes water and electricity to people living in to the City of Los Angeles. The DWP is required to conduct its operations in a safe and clean environment.

The City’s DWP failed to keep its promise to you. For at least three years, the DWP let natural gas leak from the Valley Generating Station and potentially exposed thousands of residents in Sun Valley and Pacoima to toxic chemicals.

You can read more about the lawsuit here.

What Happened?

The Valley Generating Station is nearly 70 years old. DWP deliberately neglected the facility to the detriment of nearby residents despite upgrades in 2004 and 2005 to repair the facility.

In 2015, the Valley Generating Station spewed toxic gas, creating an immediate threat to the health and well-being of nearby residents. DWP did nothing and said nothing.

Natural gas exposure can weaken a person’s immune system. Despite knowing weakened immune systems make you more vulnerable to COVID-19, the City DWP failed to provide warning or protect people living near the station that the leaking gas would increase health risks from Covid-19. 

Instead, DWP waited over 1000 days before finally coming public about the natural gas leak. The delay of announcing the leak and subsequent cover-up has lifelong consequences for anyone who lives, works, or attends school nearby.

What Are The Health Risks Of Natural Gas Exposure?

Many symptoms of gas leaks can have other causes. That’s why it is important to keep detailed information about when your symptoms began. If you experienced any of the following symptoms in the last four years and you live or work nearby the Valley Generating Station, you may have been exposed to natural gas.

  • Rotten egg smell
  • Frequent headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Hair loss
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Eye and skin irritation
  • Respiratory problems

 

Your primary concern is your health and well-being. See your doctor. Explain your symptoms. Get the medical help you need.

What Are My Options?

This is not the first time a gas leak has happened. SoCalGas — the gas supplier for DWP — was involved in a natural gas leak in the Northwest San Fernando Valley in 2015. SoCalGas was forced to relocate thousands of Porter Ranch residents as a result of that case. Our law firm represents Porter Ranch residents, helped them with relocation and now seek the compensation for the damages to hold SoCalGas accountable for their actions.

While moving or relocating may seem extreme, it might be the best option. Leaks of natural gas can adversely affect your health over the long term, resulting in depression, respiratory problems, and an overall deterioration in health.

However, relocation is not easy or cheap. That’s why you need to speak with a lawyer. Joining the lawsuit against DWP can help protect your rights. You may have extensive medical bills resulting from your gas exposure. You may have or continue to spend time out of work, losing valuable income for your family.

Collecting compensation from DWP can ease your financial burden so that you can focus on the health and well-being of your family. Joining the lawsuit may be your best option to achieve this goal. If you fail to act quickly, you may lose the ability to collect maximum compensation for your suffering.

How To Get Protection From the Sun Valley Gas Leak

Contacting the PARRIS Law Firm is the best way to protect your family. By pursuing maximum compensation, you can ensure your family gets the medical care they need without worrying about how to pay for medical expenses. 

Contact us today for a free review of your case if you believe DWP exposed you or your family members to natural gas.

What is the Valley Generating Station?

The Valley Generating Station was constructed in 1953 by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) to provide electricity for Greater Los Angeles. It was built on 150 acres in Sun Valley and cost $80,000,000.  In 2000, the Los Angeles City Council approved modernizing the then 50-year old power station and was a major component of the DWP’s Integrated Resource Plan. The project was completed on April 30, 2004. The power station lies in the midst of a large population of Black and Latino community residents.

What Did They Know?

On August 25, 2020, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) admitted to State regulators that their Valley Generating Station has been leaking gas for nearly three (3) years.

It is undisputed that DWP let the gas leak.  DWP failed to timely stop the leak and failed to follow the basic requirements of notifying you of the exposures to protect you and your neighbors from the natural gas and its harmful constituents.

The City of LA had brought suit to protect residents of Porter Ranch from the gas leaking in 2015 at Aliso Canyon, but the City allowed the DWP Sun Valley gas leak to continue for nearly 3 years without protecting you.

 

Why Is Natural Gas Dangerous?

Natural Gas is a mixture of chemicals and gases.  It is primarily methane, but also includes harmful chemicals such as Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, Xylene, and may create Formaldehyde after exposure to sunlight and oxygen.

The chemicals associated with the gas leak may cause shortness of breath, drowsiness, headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, seizures, decreased coordination, visual disturbances, debilitating depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, allergies, and asthma.  SoCalGas gives a Proposition 65 notice because natural gas may include chemicals known to cause birth defects and cancer.  Exposures in confined spaces increases your risk for injury.

What Are Symptoms of Natural Gas Exposure?

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Decreased Coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Visual Disturbances
  • Debilitating Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

What Is PARRIS Fighting For?

On December 17, 2020, PARRIS Law Firm filed a lawsuit against the City, which operates the DWP.  The lawsuit seeks to recover monetary damages for your health care now and in the future and to clean homes contaminated by the leaking gases. 

The City knew gas exposures cause health problems and did nothing to stop the DWP leak or warn residents of the leak.  Anyone living, working, or going to school within 3 miles of the generating station may be impacted. 

Contact PARRIS Law Firm to discuss your claim against LADWP. 

Frequently Asked Question

If you live within a three-mile radius of the leak site and are experiencing abnormal or worsened medical symptoms or have smelled chemicals/gas during 2017-2020, you should contact our office about filing a claim.

The PARRIS Law Firm and Shenkman & Hughes will be joining forces to work on your behalf.

No. we will handle all of the expenses. We set up our legal fees on a contingency basis assume the risk to help and represent you. If and when we have a favorable outcome, our firms will pull a percentage of the rewards to cover the litigation expenses.

Here is a list of some of the common symptoms residents are experiencing: 

  • Headaches
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Heart Problems
  • Blurred Vision
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness
  • Cancer
  • Male Health Issues
  • Confusion
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Hair Loss
  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach Aches
  • Female Health Issues (Excessive Bleeding)
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Teeth/Gum Problems
  • Diarrhea/Constipation
  • Eye Irritation/Vision
  • Skin Rashes/Skin-Irritation
  • Sleeping Difficulties
  • Respiratory Problems./Shortness of Breath
  • Allergies
Yes.  Each case is unique.  Whether you are a small child with no pre-existing health concerns or an adult with a history of pre-existing health concerns, each case will be litigated accordingly.  If you have pre-existing health concerns, please let your attorney or case manager know so that he or she may obtain your medical history.  This is critical to fighting your individual case effectively so that you may receive full compensation for all new injuries, as well as for making any pre-existing health issues worse.

Each case is fact specific. It is better to sign up now to protect your potential rights than to wait. A good rule of thumb is if you’ve smelled the gases, or experienced health issues (even minor), then the value of your home will likely be affected.

Yes. It is critical that you receive necessary care and create a paper trail documenting your ailments and physical symptoms. Make sure to explain to the doctor every single symptom that you’ve experienced, even if you haven’t experienced it that particular day. For example, if you had a nosebleed on Monday, visit the doctor on Wednesday, but only have a headache on Wednesday, make sure you tell your doctor that you have been experiencing both nosebleeds and headaches.

Yes. While you do not have to, we strongly encourage you to do so now. It is not too late. You will need to recall details and facts anywhere from 2017 to now. It will be much easier (and more helpful to your case) if you can open up your journal and give specific instances of how your life was affected as opposed to vague and general summaries of your experiences.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has limited our ability to meet with clients and potential clients in person. However, if you would like to speak with a representative over the phone, please call our office at (877) 773-9669. We are eager to assist and communicate with you.

That is hard to say. As you can imagine, this situation is very complicated and involves a lot of residents. Our office estimates that this case will take anywhere from a minimum of two years to seven years.

It helps protect your right to reimbursement for the following: past/future medical care, decrease on the value of your real estate, business interruption, loss of past/future income/earning capacity, general damages (i.e., past and future pain/suffering, anxiety, depression, PTSD, inconvenience), incidental expenses as a result of having to move, etc.

First, welcome to the team.  We appreciate you putting your trust in us to prosecute your case against DWP.  Now that you have signed up, we need you to continue to document your health symptoms and issues, as well as any inconvenience or stress caused by the gas leak.  Also, please continue to seek treatment if you are experiencing health effects resulting from the gas leak. Other than that, our office will contact you if we need to follow up on any of your claims or need additional records.

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