Two years after a series of explosions and fires tore through Chevron’s Richmond refinery, city officials are pressing ahead with their lawsuit against the oil giant.
“It’s important for the city of Richmond to continue pursuing this lawsuit because that’s the only way that we’ll be able to hold Chevron accountable for how they do business,” newly elected City Councilman Eduardo Martinez said.
Thousands went to area hospitals for respiratory problems and other ailments following the 2012 blaze.
“There were over 15,000 people in this community alone that were impacted by that fire over at the Chevron refinery,” Reverend Kenneth Davis said.
Chevron pleaded no contest to six criminal charges related to the fire and agreed to pay $2 million as part of a plea deal with state and county prosecutors.
The city’s lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages including compensation for emergency response, environmental cleanup and loss of property values.
In a statement, Chevron said the city’s lawsuit is “meritless.” The city’s biggest taxpayer and supporter of non-profits said they provided $10 million to area hospitals, local agencies and responded to valid claims.