The daughters of a longtime Porter Ranch school teacher sued Southern California Gas Co. and Sempra Energy Wednesday, alleging the woman’s death in the spring from cancer was related to the Aliso Canyon methane leak.
Jamie Kimmel and Lauren Hoffenberg filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging wrongful death, negligence, strict liability for ultrahazardous activities and fraudulent concealment stemming from the May death of 62-year-old Susan Kimmel, who suffered from bladder and bone cancer.
The suit seeks unspecified damages. A Sempra Energy representative could not be immediately reached.
Kimmel was a teacher for 27 years at Castlebay Lane Elementary School, located just miles from the plant where the methane leak began in October 2015 and was not capped until February 2016. The suit alleges Kimmel was exposed to cancer-causing chemicals in the facility’s wells while working nearby and that she was diagnosed with the disease a year after the leak began.
Kimmel’s daughters believe the Gas Co. and Sempra knew there were inadequate safety measures at the facility to prevent the type of leak that occurred, the suit states. The companies either removed or never installed safety valves at the bases of most of the gas injection wells, according to the lawsuit.
The leak generated nearly 110,000 metric tons of methane, displaced at least 7,000 Porter Ranch area residents for months and led to mass complaints of medical problems, including cancer.
–City News Service
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