In the latest legal fallout from the massive Porter Ranch natural gas leak, Los Angeles County went to court Monday seeking to force Southern California Gas Co. to install underground safety shut-off valves on every active gas storage well and distribution pipeline it operates in the county.
The suit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, claims SoCal Gas "put corporate profits before public safety" by failing more than 30 years ago to replace a faulty shut-off valve on the well that blew last fall at its Aliso Canyon storage facility.
The complaint says a number of the company's 229 active L.A. County gas wells "are plagued with corrosion, structural integrity problems, erosion, and other safety hazards," and refers to a number of other leaks that have occurred at three other SoCal Gas storage facilities elsewhere in the county.
The complaint also seeks "punitive and/or exemplary damages in an amount sufficient to punish, deter, and make an example of SoCal Gas."
The gas company did not have an immediate comment on the suit.