On Feb. 2, a California family filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that a long-term gas leak from a nearby plant caused an elderly family member's medical problems to become more severe, ultimately leading to her death. Thousands of residents who were living near the Aliso Canyon plant in Porter Ranch have been relocated temporarily due to symptoms suffered as a result of the gas leak.
The complaint stated that the gas crept into the 79-year-old woman's home and replaced the oxygen in the air that she was breathing, causing her breathing to be labored to a point where she needed an oxygen tank. The exposure to the gas also left her with headaches and caused her health to deteriorate.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed shortly after the attorney general filed a claim alleging that the gas company violated California state law. The company issued a statement that they were doing what they could to put a stop to the leak but did not comment on either lawsuit. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health stated that any symptoms that were being experienced were short term.
When a loved one passes away due to misconduct by a company or another individual, it can be very difficult for the family to financially recover from the death. If the family members were responsible for medical costs and sustained other damages that were due to the person's death, they may potentially seek compensation to help cover the expenses. An attorney may help the family demonstrate that the death was caused by negligence or that the negligence contributed to the person's death.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, "Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Porter Ranch Gas Leak", Jonathan Lloyd, Feb. 3, 2016