Exposure to toxic chemicals can by facilitated by contaminated air, water or substances. In Georgia and all other states, there are federal and state laws that prohibit a company from allowing the massive leakage of contaminated air into the properties of thousands of nearby residential homes. Even at common law, there are nuisance and related tort actions that victims can assert to obtain compensation for illness related to exposure to contaminated air.
This is a serious issue in another state where thousands of residents of a small town have been evacuated from their homes after unwittingly breathing contaminated air. A gas company on the West Coast is the utility that is the source of massive methane leak that is spewing tons of dangerous fumes to the surrounding residential areas. People who have breathed the air have suffered nausea, headache and other short-term ailments. The fumes do pose a threat to living beings and are the cause of the foregoing, essentially short-term, health conditions.
At least one class action lawsuit has been filed against Southern California Gas for expenses of evacuation, relocation, medical expenses and similar costs incurred by those who have had to leave their homes and relocate. City attorneys for Los Angeles have sued the gas company and have obtained a commitment from it to pay for relocation of evacuated residents. The company reportedly needs three to four months to fix the leaks.
A recent test reported 30,300 kilograms of gas being released into the air per hour. The company faces additional scrutiny and legal consequences for hiding the existence of the leak from residential families until after they had suffered significant exposure to contaminated air. As government agencies confront the company in efforts to stem the damages to residential areas, private actions for tort damages and toxic torts remain available to those injured or otherwise affected. In Georgia, citizens may assert similar remedies to seek relief and compensation for exposure to toxic torts.
Source: bidnessetc.com, “Exodus Begins as California Gas Leakage Continues to Spew Methane”, Mushhood Khan, Dec. 27, 2015