Court Dismisses Shareholder Suit Against Sempra Directors

Skadden secured the dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit brought against current and former members of the board of directors of Sempra Energy accusing them of breach of fiduciary duty based on a 2015 natural gas leak at a well located within Sempra subsidiary SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon underground storage facility. In a March 29 order, Judge William Q. Hayes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California stated that the complaint failed to allege particularized facts establishing that the Sempra board could not consider a pre-suit demand. The court found the complaint's particularized fact allegations did not permit a reasonable inference that the Sempra board knew either of safety risks at the well before the leak or of any allegedly inadequate response to the leak.