SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - A U.S. District Court judge gave a green light to the first class action lawsuit filed against Plains All-American Pipeline, but the ruling won't allow all the plaintiffs to move forward right now.
Leila Noel of the Cappello & Noel law firm in Santa Barbara said the judge only certified the class auction lawsuit on behalf of fishing businesses affected by the 140,000 gallon spill off the Gaviota Coast in May 2015.
The firm is one of four representing plaintiffs.
But Noel said the judge was not ready to certify subclasses including tourist businesses, property owners and oil industry workers.
She said they would have to narrow the groups for consideration.
Attorneys hope to move quickly to consolidate the class action lawsuit that could lead to a jury trial in Los Angeles or a settlement.
A spokeswoman for Plains said the oil company does not comment on pending litigation.
Fisherman at the wharf in Santa Barbara on Monday night said crab, cucumber and shrimp fishermen may have felt the biggest financial loss..
Some people received reimbursements from the Texas-based oil company during the clean-up.
They also signed paperwork, but Noel said that does not mean they have lost their right to join the class action lawsuit entitled Andrews et al v. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. et al.