San Bruno Gas Line Explosion Class Action Lawsuit Filed in CA

A California class action lawsuit has been filed against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) over a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and ripped apart nearly 40 homes in San Bruno, which is a suburb of San Francisco. 

The San Bruno gas line explosion lawsuit was filed on September 29 in San Mateo Superior Court by Daniele DiTrapani, who alleges he was injured and his home damaged on September 9 when a PG&E 30-inch pipeline exploded. The lawsuit is the second filed in the wake of the explosion and seeks class action status on behalf of all of the victims of the San Bruno explosion.

The class action suit is calling for unspecified damages, as well as having a $100 million fund for the victims of the blast given to an independent group for oversight. DiTrapani alleges that negligence on the part of PG&E led to the blast, which destroyed 37 homes, injured at least 50 people, and killed eight.

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The clean-up process is still underway in the devastated neighborhood. As of Tuesday, repair crews had cleared away 18 properties that were covered by the debris of what were once residents’ homes. The pipeline explosion lawsuit claims that the clean up cost for the community is likely to exceed $10 million.

Residents were fearful that debris, ash and dust from the explosion and fire would be a health risk, but the clean-up crews have been wetting down the debris to keep dust from rising. Survivors of the blast say that the technique appears to be working.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are about 2,410 natural gas home every year. Between 2000 and 2004, the NFPA reports that natural gas fires and propane gas home fires combined resulted in 66 deaths and over 400 injuries, many of which are burn injuries.

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, federal officials said. 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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