Now, the family of an elderly woman who lived close to the leak and recently succumbed to lung cancer is suing the Southern California Gas Company for wrongful death.
Zelda Rothman, 79, died January 25, approximately three months after the leak began. She lived about three miles from the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field, the site of the ongoing leak. Her family claims she had been leading an active, normal life, despite having stage 4 lung cancer.
"She was going on cruises, and going out to lunch with friends and driving," the lawyer for the family, Scott Glovsky, said on Thursday.
The lawsuit claims that by December 2015, following the leak, she required round-the-clock oxygen as her condition worsened.
"We're not claiming the gas company caused (Rothman's) cancer," Glovsky detailed, "we're claiming they essentially poisoned her and hastened her death and destroyed the quality of her life in the time she had left."
“It’s worth noting that the type of gas involved in this leak is part of what makes it so sinister. Methane, the main component of natural gas, is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to climate change impact,” Melissa Cronin reported for Motherboard in December.There have been over 20 lawsuits filed over the leak, along with civil claims. The Rothman family is seeking unspecified damages.