More Lawsuits Filed Over San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion Filed

California’s Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) faces a growing number of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits as a result of a deadly San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion that occurred in September. 

At least 13 lawsuits have been filed over the explosion, which killed eight people, injured dozens more and destroyed 35 homes. According to a report in the San Francisco Examiner, about three dozen more San Bruno gas pipeline explosion lawsuits are expected in the coming weeks.

One of the first lawsuits over the gas pipeline explosion was filed on September 29 in San Mateo Superior Court by Daniele DiTrapani, who was injured and his house destroyed when the 30-inch pipeline blew. That lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of all people impacted by the blast, but a number of other victims and families of people who died in the explosion filed their own lawsuits in the second half of last month.

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In one wrongful death lawsuits filed in late October, Susan Bullis seeks compensation for the death of her husband, Gergory Bullis, 50; son, William Bullis, 17; and mother-in-law, Lavonne Bullis. The complaint, which also includes a claim for property damage sustained when their home was destroyed, charges the company with negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Individuals impacted by the blast are wasting no time bringing their lawsuits to make sure their legal rights are protected, even though a $100 million fund was set up by PG&E for disaster relief. The company has been criticized for encouraging people to move back and rebuild before an investigation into the cause of the explosion could be completed.

In addition to lawsuits over of loss of life and property damage, many of the lawsuits are calling for the court to prevent the company from reconstructing the pipeline.

There have been more than 3,000 gas pipeline accidents over the last two decades as the nation’s infrastructure system continues to age. A third of those have resulted in major injuries or death, according to federal officials. The San Bruno explosion, which was caught on camera phones and security cameras, has sparked concern among federal and municipal officials as to the condition of gas pipelines across the country.

Investigators are still looking for the exact cause of the San Bruno blast.


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