We Don't Win, You Don't Pay

3 Adults Sick after a Hazmat Leak in a San Francisco Apartment near Union Square

Hazmat Incident, San Francisco, CA

3 People Treated after an Apartment Complex, near Union Square, was Evacuated Due to a Refrigerant Leak

San Francisco, CA -A quiet afternoon in the bustling city of San Francisco was disrupted by an alarming turn of events. In the city’s vibrant Union Square area, a seemingly innocuous apartment complex became the center of a chemical leak. This hazardous event, which unfolded on a laid-back Sunday, not only caused a stir among the local denizens but also highlighted the unseen dangers lurking within our own homes. As the community sought to grasp the full scope of the situation, the need for awareness and the right to safety became ever more evident.

The Incident

On the afternoon of February 18, 2024, an unsettling hazmat incident unfolded in the bustling area of Union Square, San Francisco, specifically within a local apartment at 625 Bush Street. At around 4:00 p.m., the serenity of the locale was pierced by the arrival of the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) and hazmat teams, responding to a distressing chemical leak. The situation was a stark reminder of the urban vulnerabilities that lie hidden behind the walls of our city dwellings, the chemical in question being a refrigerant, a compound essential for modern living yet not without its perils.

The leak, originating from a single apartment unit, prompted an immediate and full-scale emergency protocol. The block, known for its vibrant city life and upmarket real estate, was swiftly cordoned off, with the hazmat team donning their full-body protective suits. The source of the scare was traced to a malfunctioning refrigeration unit, a small-scale yet high-risk hazard that necessitated the kind of large-scale intervention that would close down the area to traffic and draw the public’s attention.

Three individuals, directly exposed to the hazardous fumes, were evacuated from the scene. They received on-site medical care from the SFFD’s first responders, a move that underscored the incident’s critical, albeit controlled, the nature of the event. The swift and level-headed management of the event by the SFFD and the hazmat personnel ensured that the individuals were released without the need for further hospitalization. The day’s events, while culminating in a non-catastrophic ending, were a sobering reminder of the need for constant vigilance and the unheralded work of the city’s first responders in maintaining the health and safety of the metropolis’s denizens.

Legal Implications 

The legal world often intersects with public safety in the wake of a hazardous materials (hazmat) incident, such as the one that unfolded in San Francisco’s Union Square. When individuals are exposed to potentially harmful substances due to a chemical leak, the incident not only triggers a swift emergency response but also a slew of health and safety regulations. In this case, the apparent refrigerant leak in a residential apartment complex raises questions about the duty of care owed by property owners and managers to ensure the habitability and safety of their premises.

Legally, the rights of those affected in such incidents are enshrined in a mix of real estate, personal injury, and health and safety laws. Property owners might face legal scrutiny for any potential negligence in maintaining the safety of their building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The law mandates a reasonable duty of care to prevent such hazards; failure to do so could result in the owners being held liable for any health repercussions faced by the residents or visitors to the property.

Statistically, the U.S. sees thousands of chemical exposure cases every year, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) setting stringent standards to mitigate these risks. However, the data on chemical exposures, specifically in residential areas, is more fragmented, suggesting a need for more in-depth research and data collection. These cases, while rare, have a long-lasting impact on the individuals and families involved, often necessitating a long road to recovery and a real need for a fair and just compensation process. This is where the need for an experienced personal injury lawyer becomes critical, to navigate the complex interplay of real estate, health and safety, and personal injury law.

The incident in Union Square is a stark reminder of the unexpected dangers that can arise in our daily environments, emphasizing the importance of preparedness and legal protection. While the quick response of emergency services prevented a tragedy, the event underscores the need for awareness and understanding of the rights and remedies available to those affected by similar hazards.

At Scranton Law Firm, we specialize in providing comprehensive legal support to individuals facing the aftermath of personal injury incidents, including those resulting from hazardous material exposure. Our expertise spans over 50 years, during which we have successfully secured over $1 billion in compensation for our clients. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that victims receive the justice and compensation they deserve, with empathy, expertise, and a winning record backing every case we handle.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a hazmat incident or any form of personal injury, we encourage you to reach out to us. The path to recovery can be challenging, but with Scranton Law Firm by your side, you are not alone. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help you navigate the legal process to secure the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities, and we are here to support you every step of the way.


  1. What are the legal rights of tenants exposed to hazardous materials in their living space? Tenants have the right to a safe and habitable living environment under state and federal laws. If exposed to hazardous materials due to landlord negligence, tenants may seek compensation for medical expenses, relocation costs, and other damages.

  2. How long do I have to file a claim if I’ve been exposed to hazardous chemicals in California? In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including chemical exposure, is generally two years from the date of injury. It’s crucial to consult with an attorney promptly to ensure your claim is filed within this period.

  3. Can I still receive compensation if I didn’t realize the health impact of the exposure until after the incident? Yes, the discovery rule may extend the statute of limitations if you could not have reasonably discovered the injury or its cause immediately. Legal advice is essential to navigate these complex scenarios.

  4. What should I do immediately following exposure to a hazardous material? Prioritize your health by seeking immediate medical attention. Document the incident and your symptoms, report the exposure to local health authorities, and consult with a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.

  5. How can a personal injury attorney help in cases of chemical exposure? A personal injury attorney can help by investigating the incident, determining liability, negotiating with insurance companies, and advocating for your right to fair compensation. They can also assist in navigating the complexities of environmental and safety regulations.


Free Case Review

Visit Our Main Office

Don’t navigate the aftermath of a hazmat incident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a San Francisco Hazmat Incident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.