California county files suit against pipeline owners over alleged lack of shutoff system in ruptured pipeline

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jan 26, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A California county alleges an oil spill that occurred two years ago could have been prevented by proper maintenance and care.

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A California county alleges an oil spill that occurred two years ago could have been prevented by proper maintenance and care.

County of Santa Barbara filed a complaint on Dec. 29, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Plains Pipeline LP; Plains All American Pipeline LP; Plains GP Holdings LP; et al. for alleged violation of the California Lempert-Keene-Seasfrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act and Federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on May 19, 2015, a corroded oil pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured on Gavioata Coast near Refugio State Beach in the plaintiff's county, causing an oil spill. The suit states the line was shut down and still remains shut down, causing oil and gas facilities to stop or limit operations.

The plaintiff alleges that when the defendants installed the line in 1987, the plaintiff demanded that an automatic shutoff system be installed but the defendants refused. The plaintiff alleges the line that ruptured was the only line of its type in its county that did not have an automatic shutoff system.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to ensure basic and adequate maintenance and care of the pipeline and failed to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance and operation of the pipeline.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment for compensatory, statutory, and other damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, injunctive relief, and for such other and further relief, including declaratory relief, as the court may deem just and proper. It is represented by Michael C. Ghizzoni, Rachel Van Mullem and Amber Holderness of the County of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, California.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:17-cv-09304-CBM-SK

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