Gutierrez, Jr., et al. v. Amplify Energy Corporation, et al.,
Orange County Oil Spill Amplify Settlement

Fisher Class Frequently Asked Questions


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  • A Federal Court authorized the Notice because you had a right to know about the proposed Settlement and about your rights and options before the Court decided whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the proposed Settlement, your legal rights, and the hearing (“Final Approval Hearing”) held by the Court to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the Settlement between the certified Fisher Class and the Amplify Defendants.

    The case is called Gutierrez, et al. v. Amplify Energy Corp., et al., Case No. SA 21-CV-1628-DOC-JDE (C.D. Cal.). The persons who have filed the class action and serve as Fisher Class Representatives are Donald C. Brockman, individually and as trustee of the Donald C. Brockman Trust, Heidi M. Jacques, individually and as trustee of the Heidi M. Jacques Trust, John Crowe, Josh Hernandez, LBC Seafood, Inc., and Quality Sea Food Inc. Additional Plaintiffs serve as Class Representatives to represent the Property and Waterfront Tourism Classes. As explained above, Defendants in the lawsuit include Amplify Energy Corp., Beta Operating Company, LLC and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Company (“Amplify” or the “Amplify Defendants”).

  • On October 1, 2021, an underground pipeline known as Amplify’s P00547 Pipeline ruptured, resulting in the Oil Spill off the coast of Orange County near Huntington Beach. Plaintiffs allege that Amplify, the company operating the pipeline, has responsibility for the oil spill that caused damage to commercial fishers and processors, coastal real property, and waterfront tourism businesses. Amplify denies those allegations and asserts that two container ships struck and damaged the pipeline leading to Oil Spill and failed to alert Amplify of the incident. Plaintiffs’ claims against the ships, including on behalf of the Fisher Class, are ongoing and are not affected by this Settlement with Amplify.

  • In a class action, one or more people called class representatives sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a class or class members. Bringing a case, such as this one, as a class action allows adjudication of many similar claims of persons and entities that might be economically too small to bring in individual actions. One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves (opt out) from the class.

  • The Court has not decided whether Plaintiffs of Amplify are right. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with continuing the litigation. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Classes.


  • The Fisher Class includes:

    • all persons or businesses who owned or worked on a commercial fishing vessel docked in Newport Harbor or Dana Point Harbor as of October 2, 2021, and/or who landed seafood within the California Department of Fish & Wildlife fishing blocks 718-720, 737-741, 756-761, 801-806, and 821-827 between October 2, 2016 and October 2, 2021, and were in operation as of October 2, 2021; as well as
    • those persons and businesses who purchased and resold commercial seafood so landed, at the retail or wholesale level, that were in operation as of October 2, 2021.

    Excluded from the Fisher Class are:

    • the Amplify Defendants, any entity or division in which the Amplify Defendants have a controlling interest, and their legal representatives, officers, directors, employees, assigns and successors;
    • the judge to whom this case is assigned, the judge’s staff, and any member of the judge’s immediate family;
    • businesses that contract directly with the Amplify Defendants for use of the Pipeline;
    • all employees of the law firms representing Plaintiffs and the Class Members; and
    • all opt-outs.

    If you believe you are a Fisher Class member, but you do not have Class Catch attributable to your CDFW license, you needed to have contacted the Settlement Administrator by June 9, 2023. The Settlement Administrator will confer with Class Counsel in good faith to determine your eligibility and compensation under the Settlement. You can contact the Settlement Administrator by mail at Orange County Oil Spill Settlement c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91202, Seattle, WA 98111, by email at, or by telephone at 1-877-917-0133.

  • The Fisher Class Settlement resulted in the creation of a cash settlement fund of $34 million (the “Fisher Class Settlement Amount”). The Fisher Class Settlement Amount, together with any interest earned thereon, is the “Fisher Class Common Fund.”

    The Fisher Class Common Fund was used to pay eligible Class Members, attorney fees and costs as awarded by the Court (“Fees and Costs Award”), all costs associated with notice and settlement administration, any service awards that were paid to Class Representatives as approved by the Court, and any other fees and costs approved by the Court. If you were entitled to relief under the Fisher Class Settlement, the Settlement Administrator determined the amount payable to you based on the Court-approved Plan of Distribution.

    Importantly, the Settlement also provided injunctive relief in addition to money for eligible Class Members. This means that Amplify will also take steps to help prevent future oil spills, which are explained in detail in the Settlement Agreement.

  • The Court granted Class Counsel's application for Fees and Costs Award up to $8.5 million (or 25% of the Settlement) plus expenses, to be paid from the Fisher Class Common Fund. Class Counsel also asked the Court to award up to $10,000 to each of the six Fisher Class Representatives as a service award, in recognition of their time and effort spent on behalf of the Fisher Class in achieving this Settlement.

    The amounts awarded to Class Counsel and Class Representatives were paid out of the Fisher Class Common Fund. Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses was granted by the Court on April 24, 2023. A copy of the motion is available in the Important Documents tab.

  • Class Counsel's Plan of Distribution for the Fisher Class was approved by the Court on April 24, 2023. It is available on the Important Documents tab.

    The Plan of Distribution is based upon the pro rata share and value of catch attributable to each vessel and each fishing license, based on landing records obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Fisher Class Common Fund was distributed among the Fisher Class Members proportionately, based on these landing records. The Plan also provides for the distribution of the Fisher Class Common Fund to fish processor Class Members based on the proportional share and value of fish purchased by each processor, based upon CDFW landing records.

  • Members of the Fisher Class will be sent checks automatically and will not have to file claims to receive settlement payments.

  • No. There will be no payments if the Settlement is appealed. You may also not get money because you might not be a Class Member.

  • The Court has appointed Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein LLP, Aitken, Aitken, Cohn, and Larson, LLP ("Interim Settlement Class Counsel") to be the attorneys representing the Fisher, Property, and Waterfront Tourism Classes. Interim Settlement Class Counsel believe that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Classes. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. If you wish to contact your Court-appointed lawyers, their contact information is below:


    Lexi J. Hazam
    275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
    (415) 956-1000

    Wylie A. Aitken
    3 MacArthur Pl. Suite 800
    Santa Ana, CA 92707
    (714) 434-1424

    Stephen Larson
    555 Flower St. #4400
    Los Angeles, CA 90071
    (213) 436-4888

  • The deadline to opt out of the Settlement passed on February 14, 2023.

  • The deadline to opt out of the Settlement passed on February 14, 2023.

  • No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue Amplify for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must have excluded yourself from this Settlement to continue your own lawsuit. If you properly excluded yourself from the Settlement, you will not be bound by any orders or judgments entered relating to the Settlement.

    The Settlement does not affect your rights against the ship defendants, and claims against them on behalf of a Fisher Class are continuing.

  • No. You will not get any money from the Settlement if you excluded yourself.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement passed on February 14, 2023.

  • Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don't like something about the Settlement with Amplify. You could object to the Settlement only if you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself, or opting out, from the Settlement is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Settlement. If you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

  • If you are a Fisher Class Member and you did not exclude yourself from the Settlement with Amplify, you will automatically receive Settlement benefits, and you are bound by the terms of the Settlement.

  • All Class Members are bound by the Settlement and are deemed to have, fully, finally, and forever released, relinquished and discharged the Amplify Defendants and related Released Parties from any and all claims of any kind or nature whatsoever for any property damage or any economic losses of any kind or nature whatsoever arising out of or relating to the San Pedro Bay Incident, including any claims under OPA. The specific claims you gave up against the Amplify Defendants are described in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed in Question 11 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

  • The Final Approval Hearing occurred on April 24, 2023.

  • The Final Approval Hearing occurred on April 24, 2023.

  • The Notice summarizes the Settlement. You can get more details and print the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions or notify the Settlement Administrator regarding address changes to Orange County Oil Spill Settlement c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91202, Seattle, WA 98111, email at or call 1-877-917-0133


For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Orange County Oil Spill Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91202
Seattle, WA 98111