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PG&E lawsuit demands restitution for ratepayers

August 24, 2012 9:18:25 AM PDT
PG&E is facing a lawsuit that could ultimately put some money in your pocket. It's a class action looking for a reimbursement for millions of customers.

Doing the math on this, the refund to PG&E customers would be about $25. The attorney who filed the suit says it's not about the money, it's about whether we should, "Let big companies rip off people while they get rich."

The suit filed says that at least four million past and present PG&E customers should be reimbursed for fees paid between 1997 and 2010. The suit says a consultant hired by the company after the San Bruno explosion found $100 million that was supposed to be used for safety, but wasn't.

"Instead, that money went to executive compensation, it went to bonuses, it went to stock payments, it went to millions of dollars paid in bonuses to the CEO," attorney Brian Kabateck said.

Some of that money was supposed to be used in San Bruno, where eight people were killed and 38 homes destroyed in a 2010 pipeline explosion.

"In 2010, PG&E collected $5 million to make repairs in San Bruno," Kabateck said. "They didn't spend a penny of it on repairs. And instead, the same year they paid out $5 million dollars in executive bonuses and compensation."

San Bruno resident Filomena Guerrero is one of two plaintiffs named on the suit, which represents all customers, "Well they keep raising our rates," Guerrero said. "Saying that it's for our safety but they haven't done that, they used it for their profits and I think it should be used for our safety in San Bruno."

While PG&E spokesperson Brittany Chord said, "We are reviewing the allegations put forward today and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously in court." Attorney Katabeck asked, "How many times do you have to ask a big corporation like PG&E to do the right thing? What do you need to do? It seems like they need to be hit over the head with a lawsuit."

Anyone who was a PG&E customer between 1997 and 2010 is automatically included as a plaintiff, unless you choose to opt out.


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