Chemical explosions: Santa Clara Waste Water suing insurer for $7 million

January 03, 2015
Santa Paula News

Santa Clara Waste Water is suing its insurer for $7 million to cover the costs associated with a series of chemical explosions and fires that started on the early morning of November 18 at the facility located west of Santa Paula.

The company also names 805 Trucking in the lawsuit filed by Richard C. Giller of Polsinelli LLP in Los Angeles, which alleges a truck owned by the Oxnard-based company was the one that initially exploded at 3:45 a.m.

In recent weeks Ventura County officials stated the vehicle that exploded was a SCWW vacuum truck.

The initial explosion and fire and those thereafter sent more than 50 people to local hospitals seeking treatment for symptoms believed to be related to exposure to unknown chemicals. Three Santa Paula Firefighters remain on medical leave.

Santa Clara Waste Water claims in the lawsuit, filed December 23 in Ventura County Superior Court, that is insurer, Allied World Assurance, refused to pay costs related to the incident and Patriot Environmental Services, hired for the cleanup by SCWW, threatened to stop work due to the unpaid bill.

The lawsuit claims that a criminal investigation being conducted by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office as well as fire losses have limited the availability of SCWW documents requested by the insurer.

This story will be updated in the Wednesday, January 7 edition of the Santa Paula Times.

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