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Mass Lawsuits Filed For Los Angeles Toxic Poisoning From Landfill

los Angeles residents sue over a poisonous, toxic landfill

Over 800 residents living near the Chiquita Canyon Landfill just outside Los Angeles have filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the landfill’s owner, claiming toxic fumes from the site have been poisoning the surrounding communities and making people sick.

Residents Near Los Angeles Landfill File Lawsuit Alleging Toxic Poisoning

The suit alleges that homeowners in Castaic, Santa Clarita, and Val Verde have developed severe health issues, including respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and more, due to the landfill’s emissions.

The plaintiffs contend that a significant subsurface oxidation event began in the 639-acre landfill in May 2022, releasing gases containing elevated levels of carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds.

This led to a dramatic increase in foul odors, with residents filing nearly 6,800 complaints in 2023 alone. Regulators also found high levels of the carcinogen benzene in the landfill’s leachate (liquid waste).

Residents Claim Constant Illness

Residents say they have become “prisoners trapped in their homes” to avoid exposure, with outdoor activities halted. Children have been getting constantly sick. The impacted area spans a 7-mile radius, affecting hundreds of families.

Some have compared it to “living next to an open sewer.” Plaintiffs are seeking damages as well as funding for medical care, fearing increased cancer risks and ongoing health issues.

A History of Toxic Issues in California

Sadly, this is not an isolated case in California.  According to the Press-Enterprise (currently under redesign), in 2022, residents near a warehouse in the Inland Empire sued a logistics company over noxious odors and health issues caused by toxic fumes leaking from the building. The suit alleged that VOCs from cleaning solvents and other chemicals made the neighborhood sick.

In Northern California, a federal jury recently found Monsanto liable for $80 million in damages after its PCBs contaminated the city of Oakland’s stormwater, exposing residents to toxic substances.

A metal recycling plant in Southeast LA County agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle claims that it released hazardous waste, such as lead and arsenic, polluting nearby communities.

Stricter Enforcement Needed

From illegal dumping to lax regulations, the Chiquita Canyon lawsuit highlights an ongoing environmental injustice impacting too many Californians, especially in working-class areas. Irresponsible waste management is endangering the health of children and families.

Stricter enforcement, oversight reforms, and corporate accountability are necessary to prevent more communities from becoming polluted. Companies must be held responsible for the harm their toxic waste causes.

All Californians deserve access to clean air, soil, and water—a fundamental human right. Hopefully, the Castaic families’ lawsuit sends a message that recklessly polluting neighborhoods is unacceptable and sparks reform to better protect communities from environmental toxins. Although there is still a long way to go, it begins with the locals hitting these companies in the purse to force change.

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California Personal Injury Blog