Why Was the PG&E Trial Delayed Until Next Year?

The trial against PG&E for the 2010 San Bruno fire was originally scheduled to take place before the second anniversary of the explosion. But constant delays have pushed back the start date.

San Bruno residents have been waiting for months for the PG&E trial stemming from the 2010 pipeline explosion to start.

The trial was set to start Oct. 9, after being delayed several times before by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina, who is overseeing the proceedings. 

But, according to Mike Danko, one of the attorneys representing a number of residents who sued PG&E for the explosion, Dylina recently decided to push the date back again to Jan. 2, 2013, citing a number of reasons, including how the courts throughout the state are being affected by the budget crisis.

"First the hearing on the summary judgment motions got moved. Once that happened, the trial date had to be moved," Danko said. "Because it would be nice to have the trial date pushed until after the hearing on the evidence, everything got space appropriately."

According to Danko's blog, the following is the new schedule for the court proceedings leading up to the trial:

  • Oct. 15: Hearing on whether plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims should be thrown out
  • Nov. 30: Attorneys on both sides will present before the judge what evidence, if any, they believe should be excluded from the trial
  • Jan. 2: Trial to begin with lawyers only
  • Jan. 3: Jury selection to start 
  • Jan. 14: Opening statements to start

The 2010 pipeline explosion in the Crestmoor neighborhood left eight people dead and 38 homes destroyed. Shortly after the explosion, hundreds of residents , claiming that PG&E knew Line 132—the gas transmission pipe that ruptured—was a "ticking timebomb" and that the company failed to repair it despite clear warnings.

Nearly all of the lawsuits , which could cost PG&E somewhere in the billions if a jury agreed with the plaintiffs.

PG&E has already with residents who were affected by the disaster, including all of the families whose relatives died in the fire.

PG&E CEO Tony Earley that the company's goal is to "wrap things up" with the lawsuits by the end of the year.

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hamptonct September 05, 2012 at 06:23 PM
PG&E just doesn't care. After the accident they showed up but tyhey are gone now! I think the neighbors should join a class action suit!
Irene September 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I wish PG&E's Tony Earley was here in our neighborhood on that day... running for his life not knowing if he would be able to outrun the fire, burned by the heat and thinking he was going to die! Then going through that past two years with PTS, nightmares, health problems etc!!!! Mr. Earley how do you sleep at night? PG&E makes me SICK! GREED thats what fuels PG&E!
DLS September 06, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I am disgusted at the lack of empathy that the PG&E executives have shown to all the victims affected by this terrible tragedy. I understand they have admitted fault, accepted responsibility and have settled the majority of legal cases for the families that lost loved ones and ones that have been physically hurt, which is good however the monetary settlements could never bring back their loved ones and take away the pain and suffering they have endured which was caused by 100% from PG&Es negligence. What I am wondering, what about the families that lived right next to the explosion, the people that had no physical wounds but have not been the same since that awful day. The ones that ran for their lives leaving with only the clothes on their back and terrible memories that are constantly replayed in their minds on a daily basis. The ones that now fight to hold back their tears when they hear a boom or hear a siren going down the street. On a recent interview the PG&E CEO stated they have settled with the real victims, are these not victims too? Shame on you PG&E!!!!


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