San Francisco pipeline operator to settle claims for $565 million over 2010 blast
San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) announced that it would settle all claims related to the gas pipeline explosion in a residential area in San Francisco Bay Area in 2010.
The company expects that the total sum it would have to pay out to settle personal injury and property damage claims would reach about $565 million, including $455 million that the company had already agreed to pay and extra $110 million that would be needed to settle the remaining claims. Overall, 160 lawsuits have been filed against PG&E on behalf of 500 individuals, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
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According to Brittany Chord, spokeswoman for PG&E, 347 cases were settled between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9, while two more cases remain open. Previously, the company had reached settlements with 152 claimants.
On Sept. 9, 2010, a high-pressure transmission line exploded and caused a fire that destroyed 38 homes and killed eight people. An investigation of the incident revealed that PG&E had failed to adequately oversee the installation of the pipeline decades ago. A report by the National Transportation Safety Board stated that botched welding and problems with the pipeline inspection program had led to the blast. Oversight and monitoring procedures were additionally affected by the company's failure to keep proper records, the San Jose Mercury News added.