PG&E settles with two families over pipeline blast

July 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two families who lost loved ones in the San Bruno pipeline explosion have finally settled with PG&E. They are significant cases among a few hundred still making their way toward an October court date.

Jackie Greig and her 14-year-old daughter Janessa were killed in their home, while down the block, three members of the Bullis family -- grandmother Lavonne, son Greg and 17-year-old grandson William -- also never made it out of their house.

On Thursday their surviving family members settled civil lawsuits against PG&E for undisclosed sums.

"These are families that we support wholeheartedly in the community," said San Bruno victim Bill Magoolaghan. "And we're glad that they're getting through this, that they're going to be okay, that they've got the financial support they need. You know, no amount of money is going to make up for what happened."

Magoolaghan's pregnant wife and three kids made it out alive. They also have a suit against PG&E. He says the depositions and psychological evaluations for the utilities company are challenging and painful, "They're actually trying to say your emotional trauma is caused by something other than this massive explosion and fireball that you and your children ran from. Which is just, you know, that's just disturbing."

Of 400 civil cases pending against PG&E, company spokesperson Brittany Chord says 50 are settled, with the rest going to trial if not settled by October, "We've settled several of these cases and we have several more to work through by October. Our goal always has been, and will continue to be, working through these matters as quickly and fairly as possible for everyone involved."

The judge is encouraging settlements, saying, "It is the court's desire that there is nothing remaining to go to trial on October 9th."

Magoolaghan says he hopes that, whether settlements or trial, the whole truth comes out and PG&E is penalized for its negligence.

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