According to a lawsuit filed, on September 30th, 2021, a structure fire took place at a warehouse distribution center in Gardena. The severity of the blaze was attributed to the combustible materials contained within the warehouse, which was in the headquarters and distribution center for wholesale beauty corporation Virgin Scent, Inc. The beauty corporation was distributing its ethanol-based hand sanitizer. The sanitizer contained benzene and acetaldehyde which are cancer-causing chemicals. Portions of debris entered the Dominguez Channel where vegetation began to decay at alarming rates while releasing large amounts of Hydrogen Sulfide into the neighboring cities.z
Complaints arose from Carson residents on Thursday, October 3rd, 2021 when there was a rotten stench that resembled vomit that enveloped the city of Carson near the Dominguez Channel. The Dominguez Channel is a drain channel that crosses through industrial areas on its way to the Port of Los Angeles. Residents of Carson, CA, and its surrounding areas had unexplainable symptoms. The residents of Carson and surrounding areas stated that their symptoms of nausea, headaches, and skin irritations was a nuisance.
A team from the South Coast Air Quality Management District inspected the area and initially suspected that there was organic material left out on the channel banks by low tide that was causing the noxious scent. Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes announced Friday that “the cause and location have been identified as a Hydrogen Sulfide leaking pipeline.” The gas, which gives off a rotten egg smell and can be toxic.
Liberty Property LP vs Day to Day Imports, Inc.
On October 15, 2021, Defendant Liberty Property, LP, owner of the Warehouse, filed a lawsuit against Defendant Day to Day Imports, Inc., lessee of the Warehouse, for breaching the underlying lease by failing and refusing to clean up hazardous substances and waste at the Warehouse, as ordered by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, among other claims.
Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that in the days following the fire, remnants from the debris field, including residual, un-combusted hand sanitizing products, made its way into the nearby Dominguez Channel, a 15.7-mile-long perennial river that drains water runoff from storm drains in the surrounding cities of Carson, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Gardena, Lawndale, Redondo Beach, and Torrance, which ends and deposits into the Long Beach Harbor
The same public health update reported that hydrogen sulfide levels were high enough to cause a strong, foul odor in the community, and could lead to headaches and irritation in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, dizziness, nausea/vomiting or abdominal discomfort. At higher levels, exposure to hydrogen sulfide can cause chemical changes in the blood, muscle, and lung, nasal and lung tissue inflammation and damage, loss of sense of smell, respiratory failure, and, eventually, nervous system failure.
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