Chevron slapped with $63 million verdict for toxic pit in Santa Barbara

June 9, 2023


A Santa Barbara County Jury returned a $63 million verdict on Thursday against Chevron for covering up a toxic chemical pit that left a man who purchased the property with terminal blood cancer.

Chevron buried a toxic chemical sump pit in 1974 and then sold the land in 1983. Two years later, Kevin Wright built his home directly over the toxic chemical pit.

Almost three decades later, Wright was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a terminal blood cancer. Multiple myeloma is directly related to the known carcinogen, benzene, which was discovered at toxic levels in the soil beneath his home.

Wright is currently in remission, however, he continues to have severe pain and regularly undergoes chemo treatments to hold the cancer at bay.

“They cut corners and my life was turned upside down as a result,” Wright said. “Chevron’s continued denial of the harm they caused is a shameful reminder that this company values only profits, not people.”

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People think that the U.S.A. “regulates” business in their country, but in reality it works in reverse. Oil companies, like banksters and many other businesses do whatever they want, as long as they pay their bribes to the systemically corrupt local, state, and federal regulators.

So, they “Slapped” Chevron with a $63 million-dollar verdict. What is that about an hours’ worth of profit?

Let that be a lesson to them!

It’s unnerving to think how short-sighted, sloppy and unconscionable some governments and industries used to be in dealing with the harmful by-products associated with their operations. We’ve come a long way since the Environmental Protection Agency was created by President Nixon in December,1970. This Chevron chemical sump nightmare was in use fifty years ago, before many environmental rules, regulations and improved industry practices were implemented to properly manage, monitor and mitigate hazardous materials. Apparently, even the County of Santa Barbara was unaware of what was happening on that parcel of land. After 5 decades of societal demand and government-mandated environmental good stewardship, I would hope the watchdogs in public agencies and private corporations have a far better environmental ethos. Their track record today should reflect that such incidents are unacceptable and will never be repeated.

Although I support the oil industry in proving energy for the economy, I have no tolerence for bad behavior by any corporate entity, Chevron being among them.

Good for Kevin Wright.

And yet the people in Chevron who approved the dumping plan are either still working or walked away with with a nice pension and are living nicely, they should be in jail.

No need to regulate this industry. It is obvious they police themselves. Drill baby drill.