TO ANY PERSON OR BUSINESS POTENTIALLY IMPACTED OR DAMAGED BY THE OCTOBER 2021 PIPELINE OIL SPILL OFF THE COAST OF ORANGE COUNTY NEAR HUNTINGTON BEACH
1. What is this notice about?
The United States District Court ordered this supplemental notice to advise you of litigation relating to the October 2021 Pipeline Oil Spill off the coast of Orange County near Huntington Beach ("Oil Spill"). This supplemental notice is about the steps that you or your business need to take if you believe you have a claim for compensation relating to the Oil Spill. YOU HAVE UNTIL DECEMBER 7, 2022, TO FILE CLAIMS AGAINST TWO CONTAINER SHIPS (MSC DANIT AND M/V BEIJING) ("CONTAINER SHIPS") THAT ALLEGEDLY STRUCK AND DAMAGED THE PIPELINE IN JANUARY 2021, WHICH DAMAGE IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN A FACTOR IN CAUSING THE OIL SPILL.
The owners of the Container Ships ("Ship Owners") have filed lawsuits called "Limitation Actions" to either clear themselves of any responsibility for the Oil Spill or to limit the amount they might need to pay in damages. This case is called In the Matter of the Complaint of Dordellas Finance Corp. Owner and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., Owner pro hac vice, No. 2:22-cv-02153DOC-JDE. TO PROTECT ANY RIGHTS YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST THE SHIP OWNERS, YOU MUST FILE CLAIMS IN THE LIMITATION ACTIONS USING THE METHOD DESCRIBED BELOW. IF YOU DO NOT DO SO, YOU MAY FOREVER LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO BRING ANY CLAIMS AGAINST THE SHIP OWNERS OR TO RECOVER ANY COMPENSATION FROM THEM.
2. Your rights against the Ship Owners are not protected by the separate Class Action lawsuit relating to the Oil Spill.
You may have heard there is a proposed class action filed against the companies that own and operate the pipeline that leaked (Amplify Energy Corporation, Beta Operating Company, and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company) and against the Container Ships; these claims are brought by commercial fishers, waterfront business owners, and oceanfront property owners alleging they were harmed by the Oil Spill. That class action lawsuit is called Gutierrez et. al. v. Amplify Energy Corp. et. al. Case No. 21-01628-DOC ("Gutierrez"). The Limitation Actions are separate from the Gutierrez class action lawsuit.
YOUR RIGHT TO MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST THE SHIP OWNERS OF THE CONTAINER SHIPS MAY NOT BE PROTECTED BY THE GUTIERREZ CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT for two reasons. First, the Court in the Gutierrez class action lawsuit has paused or stayed the class action claims against the Ship Owners while the Limitation Actions are decided, and the Court's decision in the Limitation Actions may extinguish any claim you have against the Ship Owners in the separate Gutierrez class action. Second, the Court has not yet decided whether to allow the class claims against the Ship Owners in the Gutierrez class action, and it may decide that the class claims are not allowed.
There is also a proposed class claim in the Limitation Actions, but YOUR RIGHT TO MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST THE SHIP OWNERS MAY NOT BE PROTECTED BY THE CLASS CLAIMS IN THE LIMITATION ACTIONS. That is because the Court has not yet decided whether to allow the class claims in the Limitation Actions against the Ship Owners, and the Court may decide that the class claims are not allowed. THAT MEANS THAT YOU MUST FILE YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS IN THE LIMITATION ACTIONS TO FULLY PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO MAKE CLAIMS IN THE LIMITATION ACTIONS. Filing a claim allows you to potentially recover compensation from Ship Owners in the Limitation Actions.
3. How to file a claim in the Limitation Actions.
The claim-filing period is now open in the Limitation Actions but closes on December 7, 2022. You can file your own individual claim in the Limitation Actions. To file your claim, complete and sign the claim form and mail it to the Clerk of the Court at:
Clerk of the Court
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL
DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA - SOUTHERN DIVISION
411 West 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
YOUR CLAIM MUST BE FILED OR POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 7, 2022.