Bolstered by new findings, Porter Ranch residents back in court over SoCal Gas leak

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Attorneys for thousands of Porter Ranch residents who are suing Southern California Gas for the Aliso Canyon gas leak are heading to court again this week.

A new report released last week by the California Public Utilities Commission blames the massive gas leak in 2015 on a corroded pipe.

That report also found that SoCal Gas moved too slowly to repair that leak and it faulted the utility for not maintaining its wells properly.

The rupture is considered the largest ever release of methane in U.S. history.

At a news conference Monday, attorneys heading up lawsuits against SoCal Gas praised the new report, saying it reveals that the gas company had 60 prior well failures, but didn't respond appropriately.

"When there's a failure, you investigate to find the failure," said attorney Brian Panish, representing Porter Ranch residents. "You need to have a risk assessment plan to make sure that doesn't happen again. But they never did that."

In response to the report, Socal Gas released a written statement, saying in part "Today Aliso Canyon is safe to operate and Blade's report indicates the industry leading safety enhancements and new regulations put in place after the leak should prevent this type of incident from occurring again."

Both sides are due in court Thursday where a judge is expected to decide whether or not residents affected by the gas leak are eligible for restitution.
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