Nobody wants to think about toxic substances that may exist in the drinking water in Encinitas or elsewhere in Southern California. However, companies have disposed of toxic and otherwise harmful substances in ways that result in serious and fatal harms to consumers in California and throughout the country, giving rise to a category of personal injury lawsuits known as toxic tort claims. Toxic tort injuries in a small town in Southern California made national news back in 1996, yet as a recent article in Grist highlights, those toxic substances continue to have relevance.
Toxic Torts Legislation in Hinkley, California
Anyone who has seen the film Erin Brockovich (2000) probably remembers the name Hinkley, a town in Southern California made famous in 1996 when, as the article explains, “a group of residents famously won a massive direct-action arbitration against Pacific Gas and Electric.” The case involved allegations against Pacific Gas and Electric, which ultimately was found responsible for “dumping hexavalent chromium (aka chromium-6), a carcinogen used to suppress rust formation at the Hinkley gas compressor station, into an unlined pond in the ‘50s and ‘60s.” By the 1990s, the chromium-6 had seeped into the groundwater in Hinkley, and many people suffered serious injuries.