LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Southern California Gas Co. says people who have been living out of hotels since a gas leak prompted them to leave their Los Angeles homes may begin moving into what the utility calls high-quality apartments.
SoCal Gas made the announcement Friday, two days after a state appeals court ordered it to keep paying to temporarily house thousands of people evacuated from the upscale Porter Ranch area after a gas well began leaking last October.
The utility planned to stop payments after the well was capped weeks ago, but residents say the noxious odors it spewed persist. The court ordered that payments continue until at least April 27, when another court hearing is scheduled.
Residents have until Monday to agree to move.
Apartments will have kitchens, parking and Internet connections.
In a separate action, nearly 700 residents filed claims Friday against state regulators, regional air quality regulators and SoCal Gas seeking at least $3.5 million in personal injury and property damage for each claimant.
The claims must be reviewed by the agencies, and if they are rejected, that clears the way for the residents and their lawyers to sue.