Case Update: On June 20, 2017, the Court granted in part and denied in part Defendants' motion to dismiss the action. Plaintiffs have filed a motion for reconsideration and a proposed third amended complaint; both are pending.
Pomerantz was appointed Co-Lead Counsel in a class action lawsuit filed against Sempra Energy (“Sempra” or the “Company”), and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of California, and docketed under 16-cv-00512, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased Sempra securities between May 14, 2015 and November 23, 2015 inclusive (the “Class Period”). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
Sempra operates as an energy services holding company worldwide. The Company’s Southern California Gas Company (“SoCalGas”) segment transmits, distributes, and stores natural gas. As of February 6, 2015, this segment served approximately 21 million consumers through 5.8 million meters in 500 communities. This segment’s service territory comprises approximately 20,000 square miles throughout Central and Southern California.
On October 23, 2015, Sempra’s subsidiary SoCalGas discovered a natural gas leak from the Company’s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility near the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles (the “Porter Ranch Leak”).
On October 28, 2015, after a strong gas odor became noticeable to Porter Ranch residents, SoCalGas publicly acknowledged the Porter Ranch Leak.
For the next several months, SoCalGas attempted unsuccessfully to plug the well. Meanwhile, local residents reported symptoms including headaches, nausea, and severe nosebleeds, and thousands of families were relocated from the area as SoCalGas unsuccessfully attempted to seal the well.
Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, cash position, prospects, and internal controls. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) SoCalGas lacked the capability to expeditiously repair gas leaks, causing a public hazard; (ii) an extended hazardous gas leak would constitute a serious threat to public health and safety; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On November 23, 2015, displaced Porter Ranch residents filed a class action lawsuit against SoCalGas, seeking damages and an order requiring SoCalGas to disclose information related to the health risks associated with the Porter Ranch Leak.