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What is the Average Value of a Sunshine Canyon Toxic Landfill Odor Lawsuit?

What is the Average Value of a Sunshine Canyon Toxic Landfill Odor Lawsuit sue compensation lawyer attorney

It is very likely that parties affected by the Sunshine Canyon toxic landfill odor have questions about the average value of claims similar to theirs. In fact, some might actually base their decision to file a lawsuit on the potential value of their claim. If you have any questions about average value, possible value, or even the details that ultimately determine case value, contact us today here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group. Our toxic landfill odor attorneys are ready to answer all your questions and provide you with the guidance that you need.

What Happened at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill?

According to reports, residents in the areas surrounding Sunshine Canyon Landfill have been lobbying the city attorney to take action against Republic Services (also known as BFI of California), the operators of the landfill. Sunshine Canyon Landfill spans more than 1,000 acres and gets more than 8,000 tons of trash every day. As of November 2023, there were over 1,700 resident complaints against the landfill (an all-time high) and almost 40 official notices of violations. Complaints are mostly from residents in the Granada Hills and Sylmar areas.

According to the landfill’s general manager, there have been infrastructure improvements over the past few years, resulting in general improvements, including odor improvements, in the landfill; in fact, the general manager claims that the odors coming from the landfill were faint, and that the community might be smelling odors from other nearby sources. In other words, the landfill operators claim no wrongdoing.

However, a report by the L.A. Times found that the increased rainfall that Southern California has received has resulted in an underground chemical reaction that has released methane gas and hydrogen sulfide into the community; the report also states that the rainfall has eroded soil cover, leaving garbage exposed and worsening odors. Of course, the odors are a nuisance to members of the community. But it is important to note that the methane gas and hydrogen sulfide released by the landfill have been associated with many symptoms, including but not limited to dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, irritability, seizures, and coma, for example.

If you suffered any sort of harm associated with the odors and gases coming from Sunshine Canyon, you may have the right to file a lawsuit. You could also recover compensation. If you are interested in learning more about the possible value of your landfill odor case, contact us today.

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Example Settlements from Past Cases

Below, you will find a few examples of past settlements involving claims filed against landfill operators for foul odors coming from their landfills.

  • A lawsuit against the operator of a landfill in Ogle County, Illinois for air pollution and the failure to control landfill odors resulted in a $100,000 settlement (2023).
  • A lawsuit against the operator of a landfill resulted in the operator being ordered to pay $950,000 to the residents affected by the odors. Additionally, the operator was required to make a $1.2 million investment into equipment/technology for odor reduction (2020).
  • A lawsuit against a Southern California landfill operator settled for $3.5 million (2018).
  • A lawsuit claiming that landfill odors affected quality of life of residents against the operator of a Pennsylvania landfill settled for $2 million (2016).

These are just a few examples of past settlements that have been reached against landfill operators for issues involving landfill odors. Without a doubt, these are high value settlements; however, considering that most of the settlements listed above are class action lawsuits, it is important to note that the settlements are dividing among all the claimants (which could be hundreds or even thousands of claimants).

What is the Average Value of a Landfill Odor Case? – Understanding the Factors that Affect the Value of a Case

The possible value of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Odor lawsuit can range anywhere from $750,000 to $50 million. It all depends on the extent of the damages and the number of residents that form part of the class action. To better understand average case values and the possible value of your claim, it is important to understand the different factors that must be considered to determine case value.

  • Medical expenses/costs – if exposure to landfill odors resulted in harm to you and your family and you sought medical care, you could be compensated for all related costs. This may include the costs associated with doctor’s appointments, urgent care visits, emergency room visits, diagnostic testing (including lab work and imaging), prescription medications, all follow-up care, in-home care, physical therapy, etc. Of course, there are higher costs associated with more significant harm. The costs associated with mental health services, counseling, therapy, and mental health medication, for example, will also be included in this category if the victim suffered mental and emotional distress. In most cases, total medical costs are a significant chunk of a claim’s value.
  • Lost earnings – if you sustained injuries, you were likely unable to work and earn your usual income. The total amount of lost wages is very important to the value of a case. This value is based on wage history and the total time that the claimant was unable to work; so a claimant that was unable to work for six months will be able to recover the total amount that he or she would have earned if they had been able to work. In cases where the claimant is permanently unable to work, projected income must be considered (i.e., how much the claimant would have been able to earn if he or she hadn’t been injured). This is usually a major part of case value.
  • Property damage – if there was any property damage, claimants may recover compensation for either the value associated with the damaged property or the cost to repair the damaged property.
  • Pain and suffering – if the incident caused you and your family mental and emotional distress, you could be compensated for pain and suffering. In other words, if the incident resulted in post-traumatic stress, anxiety, panic, fear, depression, or other mental/emotional suffering, claimants can be awarded compensation for pain and suffering. Unlike medical costs, lost earnings, and property damage, we cannot place an economic value on pain and suffering. Because of this, it is important that claimants are evaluated by professionals to determine that they, in fact, suffered mental/emotional anguish. Compensation for pain and suffering is another significant portion to consider.
  • Punitive damages – these are awarded as a form of punishment towards the defendant, usually when there is gross negligence. Punitive damages is determined based on three things: the character of the misconduct, the type/extent of the victim’s injury, and the defendant’s wealth. As mentioned, punitive damages serve as a punishment towards the defendant, however, they also serve the purpose of deterring similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are determined by the jury.
  • Legal fees – it is important to note that cases that go to trial are associated with higher legal costs. Although legal costs will be included in the total case value, this is not really an award that goes to the claimant, as it goes to pay all costs associated with the legal process (lawyer fees, court costs, etc.)
The Categories of Compensation Available

What are the different categories of compensation available for recovery? This is perhaps the simplest question to answer. The compensation available for recovery typically fits into the following categories:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Punitive damages
  • Legal fees

In some cases, other categories may include relocation costs (specifically if claimants had to move temporarily or permanently) and wrongful death benefits (which include loss of consortium and funeral/burial costs).

Here at our law firm, our legal team is committed to getting our clients the maximum recovery possible. No matter the details surrounding your claim, you can trust that our legal team will go above it all to get you and your family the highest payout available.

What is the Average Value of a Sunshine Canyon Toxic Landfill Odor Lawsuit lawsuit liability compensation lawyer attorney sue
Contact Us at the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today

If you and your family suffered any sort of harm or damages due to the toxic odors released by the Sunshine Canyon landfill, you may have the right to sue; you may also have the right to recover compensation. If you have found yourself with questions about the average value of theses claims and what you could potentially recover, contact us as soon as possible. Our legal team is committed to helping you get all the information that you are looking for and, if you choose to sue, with the guidance that you need to fight for your rights.

We know how difficult it can be for affected parties to make the decision to file a claim, especially when considering the costs that are associated with getting legal help. To remain as accessible as possible for victims and their families, we offer free legal services. These include both free consultations and free second opinions. During these free legal services, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information that you need to begin or continue your claim. Whether you want to begin the legal process or change lawyers after starting the legal process elsewhere, our team can help you.

Our team is proud to offer a Zero-Fee Guarantee, meaning that our clients will not have to worry about paying upfront legal fees for any legal services. In addition, our law firm works on a strict contingency structure, meaning that our clients will not be responsible for paying any legal fees unless they win their claims.

If you are ready to speak to our lawyers and get answers to any questions you may have about the average value of your Sunshine Canyon landfill lawsuit, do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

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