Many residents of Huntington Beach are filing lawsuits against Amplify Energy in California for the oil spill that wreaked havoc on the Pacific Ocean. This spill caused thousands of gallons of oil to spill into the ocean. The company is facing a long legal battle, and some of these lawsuits could be consolidated into Class-action suits. If the lawsuits are successful, they could span a decade or more.
Thousands of gallons of oil spilled in the Pacific Ocean
A massive oil spill that contaminated the Pacific Ocean a few days ago has led to a major investigation by the state attorney general. The spill affected a large area of southern California, threatening the beaches and killing dozens of sea animals. Local authorities are scrambling to determine the cause and mitigate its effects. Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said the impact on the environment was irreversible.
The Coast Guard has partnered with local and state agencies to contain the oil spill and hire contractors to clean up the area. Approximately 3,150 gallons of oil were recovered from the ocean and the Coast Guard is currently investigating the cause of the spill and what type of oil was used in the spill. Regardless of what type of oil was spilled, the cleanup is likely to take years.
Class-action lawsuits could be consolidated
A federal judge has ordered the consolidation of 14 class-action lawsuits involving the October 2nd Huntington Beach oil spill. Judge David O. Carter has ordered a mid-December hearing on the lawsuit consolidation. In the meantime, he’s considering the selection of a lead law firm to represent the plaintiffs in the cases. If he approves, the case could go to trial and be decided by a judge, but that’s not set in stone.
While the Coast Guard is investigating the oil spill, a federal judge has also ruled that the lawsuits against the company could be consolidated. A Coast Guard investigation has identified the cargo ship Beijing as the culprit. The ship broke its anchor, dragging the oil over the seabed pipeline. As of late Monday, the Coast Guard enforced a 1,000-yard safety zone around the spill, and four aircraft were employed to assess the situation.
Amplify Energy faces a tough legal battle
Amplify Energy faces a difficult legal battle in the wake of the Huntington Beach oil spill. More than a dozen lawsuits filed by residents and businesses are trying to hold the company accountable for the spill. These include lawsuits filed by Laguna Beach coastal property owners, a Huntington Beach bait and tackle store, and several groups of fishing businesses. Those who filed the lawsuits claim that Amplify’s failure to shut down the pipeline was to blame for the spill.
In addition to a lengthy investigation of the spill, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency following the spill. State officials are attempting to reduce red tape and mobilize all of their resources in the effort to restore public health. On Monday, a federal grand jury indicted Amplify Energy, the company that owns the platform and the pipeline responsible for the oil spill. Meanwhile, California Democratic lawmakers are considering a ban on drilling in the state’s waters, the three miles closest to shore.
Damages could last for a decade or more
A recent oil spill off the southern California coast has led to a large number of lawsuits and investigations. A proposed class action suit has been filed in Los Angeles federal court, seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, response costs, and medical monitoring. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits may need to pay up to a decade’s worth of damages. The amount of money at stake could be significant, if not unlimited.
The Coast Guard is investigating whether the captain of the ship knew of the pipeline’s presence. Despite its location, the anchor may have dragged the pipeline 150 feet before it split open. In total, the spill could have affected more than 13 square miles and would have required an enormous cleanup. Attorneys for coastal communities have warned of potential lawsuits. However, it is unlikely to be resolved quickly.
Impact on tourism
The recent oil spill in California is the latest example of massive pollution in U.S. waters. Only last month, Hurricane Ida devastated the Gulf Coast with 350 oil spills. California’s “ocean economy” consists of six sectors, with tourism and recreation representing the largest portion. As the cleanup continues, businesses and property owners will prepare for the devastating impact on climate and nature. Even oil rig workers are bracing for job cuts as the city prepares for more lawsuits.
The oil spill has already caused damage to the city. The Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach was canceled on Oct. 3 because of the spill. The event is typically popular and draws a large crowd. However, the spill has harmed the city’s economy as hundreds of thousands of visitors have been turned away. Dead fish and birds began washing up on the shore. In addition, the smell of rotten meat and tar hung over the city. The smell of the spill even reached homes, which some residents said was the result of an eerie odor lingering in the air for hours before it happened.