Los Angeles County said it was suing tenants and owners of a warehouse where a fire released illegally stored chemicals into a drain and caused a stench that lasted for weeks.
The smell of hydrogen sulfide gas caused a public nuisance affecting thousands of residents in the town of Carson, according to the lawsuit filed in Superior Court.
The lawsuit alleges that tenants and owners of the storage facility were aware of the dangers at the site and failed to take steps to prevent the unsafe conditions that led to the fire.
The court filing names 10 defendants, including warehouse owner Prologis Inc.
Prologis said in a statement Friday that it rejects all claims that the company has not addressed the hazardous storage of materials at the site.
“On the contrary, our company has worked hard to remedy the situation in accordance with the law,” the statement said. Prologis said it asked its tenant to clean up the hazardous materials and alerted LA County Fire to the improper storage.
Prologis said he was trying to evict his tenant.
“We are here for the long haul, and we will work with regulators and local leaders to ensure the safety of the property and the health of surrounding communities,” the statement read.
The fire started Sept. 30 at the Carson property where two companies were storing large quantities of health and beauty products, and chemicals including ethanol later spilled into the Dominguez Canal, officials said.
Complaints about a stench of rotten eggs began on October 3 and eventually came from thousands of people in at least half a dozen communities across the region.