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Can I File a Chiquita Canyon Landfill Lawsuit if I was Working in the Area?

Can I File a Chiquita Canyon Landfill Lawsuit if I was Working in the Area liability sue lawyer attorney

Yes, you can file for a landfill lawsuit if you were working near Chiquita Canyon Landfill in Castaic, California. The smell from this facility has been impacting the health of residents for many years, but recently, the stench has gotten bad enough for people to come together and file a landfill odor class action lawsuit.

However, those who are living in surrounding communities are not the only ones that are suffering from negligence by Waste Connections, the owner of Chiquita Canyon Landfill. The people working in the zone of the stench can also end up with health complications due to exposure to dimethyl sulfide, or DMS.

If you believe that your health has been impacted by the odors from Chiquita Canyon Landfill, contact our law firm to learn about your rights and legal options.

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What is Causing the Smell from Chiquita Canyon Landfill?

People living near the Chiquita Canyon Landfill have complained for many years about the unbearable smell coming from this facility. In the past year, there have been thousands of complaints filed by sick and frustrated residents. Furthermore, the owner of the landfill – Waste Connections – has received multiple citations for air quality violations from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).

The smell has been traced to an older part of the landfill that was neglected by previous management. Waste Connections has insisted that they’ve taken the necessary steps to minimize odors and improve the management of decomposing trash. However, residents say the smell is still out of control, and they are forced to stay indoors most of the day and keep their windows closed 24/7. Many of them have frequent nosebleeds, headaches, and asthma attacks, which is an indicator that there is high concentration of DMS in the air.

It makes sense that workers in the area are having the same health issues, since they were breathing in the noxious fumes that were coming from the landfill. Our landfill injury attorneys can educate you on your rights and help you obtain compensation from a Chiquita Canyon landfill claim.

The Harmful Effects of DMS

DMS (dimethyl sulfide) is a clear, oily liquid with a putrid smell, similar to that of onions, but much stronger. This putrid stench is believed to be the result of excess moisture in a neglected part of the landfill. The decomposing trash has created all sorts of problems for residents, including high levels of DMS in the air. Prolonged exposure to DMS can cause:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath / asthma attacks
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Blurry vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with memory
  • Excess fluid in the lungs
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Coma
  • Death
A Summary of the Current Situation Surrounding the Chiquita Canyon Landfill

As of March 2024, the landfill is being called an “imminent danger.” As more time continues to pass without a solution in sight, both members of the community and even some officials have found themselves losing faith in the landfill’s management and the possibility of a solution. County officials, state officials, and even federal regulators have shared their concerns about the health risk posed by the landfill odors.

Of course, residents continue to complain of the pungent smells coming from the landfill. Some say that the odors are so bad that they gag and even vomit. So far, residents have filed two lawsuits pushing for operations at the landfill to stop immediately; however, some argue that a closure would not solve the problem but may contribute to more issues – at other landfills in the county.

Wate Connections (the operators) are blatantly against closure. They released a statement that said that “calls to close the landfill are misguided” as closing down the landfill “would have no effect on the ongoing [reaction];” rather, closure could put a strain on “the County’s ability to safely and quickly gather, process, and dispose of thousands of tons of waste.” Jane Williams, the executive director of California Communities Against Toxics, stated that closing Chiquita Canyon Landfill would not solve the existing problem because the chemical reaction causing the odors is occurring in a part of the landfill that has been closed off for decades, so closing the landfill would not solve the issue of the odors.

The situation at Chiquita Canyon Landfill is still developing. The push for the closure of the landfill comes from residents and individuals employed in the area come from frustration from being forced to deal with the foul odors for months on end. Although there is no solution in sight, the community hopes that the pressure from the lawsuits gets thing moving to ultimately resolve the odor issues – even if the landfill remains open.

Can I Sue Chiquita Canyon Landfill if I was Working Near the Area?

Yes, you can file a claim for monetary compensation if you were working in the area near Chiquita Canyon Landfill and are currently suffering from health issues that are associated with poor air quality. You can file a claim on your own, which is known as a personal injury lawsuit. However, you may want to explore the option of joining a class action lawsuit.

As we mentioned, Castaic and Val Verde residents have joined together in a class action lawsuit against Waste Connections for the harm caused by the smell from Chiquita Canyon Landfill. You can join an existing lawsuit or file a class action claim with others who were injured while working in the zone of the stench due to the release of dimethyl sulfide.

Our goal is to help you choose the best course of action, based on your personal preferences and the circumstances in your case. To discuss your legal options with a Chiquita Canyon Landfill lawsuit attorney, contact us today.

Chiquita Canyon Landfill Claim Settlement Values

A class action lawsuit for landfill odors can settle for $10,000,000 or more, depending on various factors, such as:

  • The number of class members (victims that have joined the lawsuit)
  • The degree of injury and property damage as a result of the odor
  • The applicable damages (medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.)
  • Negligence by the landfill operators, i.e., their failure to resolve air quality violations

If you decide to file a personal injury claim, the settlement for a Chiquita Canyon landfill lawsuit can vary from $5,000 to over $100,000. Cases involving permanent health complications or death can be worth between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000 due to additional damages, like future medical costs and loss of expected savings.

How Long Do I have to File a Lawsuit against Chiquita Canyon Landfill?

The statute of limitations to sue a landfill for odor nuisance is 2 years from the date of injury. If you are seeking wrongful death compensation on behalf of a deceased victim, you have 2 years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. For many people, the date of injury refers to when they were diagnosed with a specific health condition, but the actual starting point can vary from one person to another. To ensure that you are going by the correct deadline for a Chiquita Canyon landfill lawsuit, please take some time to speak with a member of our legal team.

Can I File a Chiquita Canyon Landfill Lawsuit if I was Working in the Area lawsuit liability compensation lawyer attorney sue
What is the Estimated Time to Settle a Landfill Odor Lawsuit?

An odor nuisance lawsuit against a landfill can take around 1 to 2 years from start to finish. But the actual timeline can range from a few months to 3 or more years, and this is due to a variety of complications, including the extent of your injuries and the other party’s willingness to admit liability. The timeline to reach a settlement can be longer for class action lawsuits, which can take around 2 to 3 years.

A trial is very unlikely, and we want to point out that we are able to reach a settlement in over 95% of all landfill air quality violation cases. But in the event your case is tried in court, it can take up to several years for a Chiquita Canyon Landfill lawsuit to settle.

Contact Our Law Firm

Filing a lawsuit is a major decision, as well as a complicated and time-consuming process. However, an experienced odor nuisance lawyer can help you make sense of the legal process. If you are worried about legal fees, we have a Zero Fee Guarantee policy to protect your finances from start to finish. We only get paid by winning your case and receiving our payment as a part of your settlement check. So, if we don’t succeed in recovering your settlement, there is no out of pocket cost to you whatsoever.

For more information on suing for injuries caused by a negligent landfill operator, contact our office and schedule a free case review.

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