Kinder Morgan Sued Over Alleged Soil Contamination

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Alex Galindo and Joseph Curd, attorneys with the Law firm of Curd Galindo & Smith, LLP http://www.injurylawyerlongbeach.com on behalf of their clients Younan Safar and Y & S Enterprises have filed a $30,000,000.00 lawsuit against Kinder Morgan, LLC in Los Angeles Federal Court, USDC Case No. CV10-7171 SJO.

Curd,Galindo & Smith, LLP

"If the soil contamination requires remediation the process will cause the business to be closed and the damages could reach $30,000,000.00."

Plaintiffs Younan Safar, Linda Safar and Y & S Enterprises, Inc allege in their complaint that the real property and business they own and operate were damaged by Defendants Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P., Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC and Kinder Morgan Tank Storage Terminals LLC. The Plaintiffs, allege in their complaint filed in the United States District Court in Los Angeles case No.CV10-7171 SJO (PLAx), that in February 2001, Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC began operating the Site which was previously owned by GATX Terminals Corporation. Plaintiffs allege that Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC, as successor in interest to GATX Terminals Corporation, is liable for all legal and equitable obligations owed to Plaintiffs by GATX Terminals Corporation.

The Site is located at 1313 and 1363 N. Gaffey Street, San Pedro, California. Public records show it was first developed in the mid-1940s and has always been an above ground petroleum storage facility. Time Oil Company was the first owner/operator of the facility starting with a single above-ground storage tank in 1943. Public records show that Time Oil used the facility to store gasoline and No. 2 diesel fuel. BP Marine leased the facility from Time Oil in 1977 and purchased it in 1980. By 1980 the facility maintained 11 above ground storage tanks. GATX Terminals Corporation purchased the facility from BP Marine in 1996, and Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC purchased GATX in 2001. Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC operated the facility until October 2004 when the tanks were decommissioned, emptied and cleaned. During their operation, GATX and Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC stored marine diesel oil, cutter stock, and bunker fuel at the Site. Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC has sold the Site to a developer with plans to build residential housing after the remediation activities have been completed.

The Plaintiffs lawsuit contends that in the course of the Kinder Morgan Defendants' operations on the Site, the Kinder Morgan Defendants disposed, dumped, spilled, abandoned and/or released hydrocarbons and other hazardous materials into and onto the Plaintiffs’ real property, contaminating both the soil and groundwater. In their legal response to the lawsuit, Kinder Morgan Defendants deny that they are responsible for any contamination of the Plaintiffs' property, if any such contamination exists. The Kinder Morgan Defendants further deny that they are responsible for any damages suffered by Plaintiffs, if any such damages have been suffered.

Public records show that the State of California, Department of Toxic Substance Control has demanded that the Kinder Morgan entities formulate and carry out a work plan to investigate and characterize the condition of the soil and groundwater at the Site. The State of California, Department of Toxic Substance Control has also demanded that the Kinder Morgan entities perform environmental remediation of any contaminants in the soil and groundwater at the Site and the Subject Property. The Plaintiffs report that recent soil sampling collected on January 6, 2011and tested by Leighton Engineering show traces of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes at the Site.

Y & S Enterprises operates a large auto body repair facility that controls the exclusive rights to work on high end brands such as Rolls Royce, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Jaguar for all the major insurance companies for the South Bay region. If the soil contamination requires remediation the process will cause the business to be closed and the damages could reach $30,000,000.00.

The court, Hon. S. James Otero, has set a jury trial to commence October 18, 2011.

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