According to reports, Zelda Rothman lived within five miles of the leaking Aliso Canyon gas facility and had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2015. Gas released by the leak made it even more difficult for her to breathe, and Rothman suffered other side effects including migraines and problems walking. The Los Angeles Daily News (2/2/16) reports that Rothman’s family asked if she would move, but before she could consider it, she was hospitalized. Her son, Michael Rothman, told the Los Angeles Daily News that his mom’s life had been normal up until October, but between November and December,
it “went downhill for her very quickly.”
SoCalGas has been in the spotlight since the leak at its storage site in Aliso Canyon was discovered in October 2015. Regulators have filed criminal charges against the company, alleging SoCalGas failed to immediately report the gas leak to the proper authorities. According to reports, SoCalGas knew about the leak on October 23 but did not notify authorities until October 26. Additionally, the company faces allegations of discharging air contaminants.
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NBC (2/3/16) reports that residents living near the Aliso Canyon site have complained about headaches, nausea and breathing problems. Two local schools have closed and thousands of people have temporarily relocated.
SoCalGas has issued a statement that it is working to stop the leak and address residents’ concerns.
The Rothman lawsuit is case number BC607923, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s lawsuit is California v. Southern California Gas Co., case number 6SC00433, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.