San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina ruled that a civil jury can decide in January whether Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will face punitive damages in response to a 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif.
A natural gas pipeline operated by PG&E exploded in 2010, killing eight people and damaging 38 homes. The National Transportation Safety Board said PG&E didn't know what kind of pipe was beneath San Bruno. A defective weld seam on the pipeline was blamed for the explosion.
PG&E admitted negligence in the explosion, though attorney John Lyons said mistakes made decades ago charted the disastrous course.
"There is no evidence of intentionality here by PG&E," he was quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle as saying. "The engineers did not know that this pipeline had a defective weld."
Plaintiffs' attorneys said the pipeline should've never been installed, saying it was "scrap pipe from an unknown source."
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