December 18, 2018 / 6:58 PM / 5 months ago

Kinder Morgan faces proposed class action lawsuit on pipeline

Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain Expansion Project at a stockpile site in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Dennis Owen

(Reuters) - Kinder Morgan is facing a proposed class action lawsuit, claiming that a division of the pipeline operator has emitted chemicals and toxic gas that caused damage to property and killed animals.

A Texas-based resident filed a petition and requested class certification against the company and its Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company unit, and petitioned other landowners.

According to the petition filed on Dec. 17 at a Harris County court, plaintiffs claim that the pipeline, which transports natural gas from Louisiana to the northeast section of the United States, has released at least 565,000 cubic feet of toxic gases and other chemicals.

Kinder Morgan said the petition contained numerous misstatements and is working with nearby landowners to remediate any impacts to their property.

In an emailed statement, the company said its unit was aware of seven landowners in close proximity who have been affected by the “mist”, not “thousands of people” as alleged in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary compensation of at least $5 million, according to the petition filed by Potts Law Firm LLP and the law offices of Patrick Zummo.

Micah Dortch, who is representing the plaintiffs, said Kinder Morgan refused to provide a sample of the released chemical.

However, the company said it had provided safety data sheets to the landowners and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Arun Koyyur

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