Parents Of San Bruno Explosion Victim Sue PG&E

SAN BRUNO (BCN) — The parents of a woman who was killed in the San Bruno gas line explosion in September filed a wrongful death lawsuit against PG&E in San Francisco Superior Court Wednesday.

The suit, filed by Israel and Rene Morales, alleges that “negligence and ultrahazardous dangerous activity” on the part of PG&E led to the death of their daughter, 20-year-old Jessica Morales.

Morales was visiting her boyfriend at his home at 1701 Earl St. on the night of the Sept. 9 explosion.

The fire that followed the explosion devoured the home and killed Morales, who was found the next morning in the shed of a neighboring home.

The explosion killed seven other people and destroyed dozens of houses.

“We believe that this incident was totally preventable,” attorney John Feder said. “If they had done their job and fixed a number of safety hazards, it would never have happened, yet they chose to endanger the public.”

“We feel it was akin to a ticking time bomb,” he added.

In the complaint, Feder said that PG&E has been cited for safety violations 411 times since 2004. He said that number is atrocious considering that all of the state’s other utilities combined had a total of 287 such violations during the same time period.

The complaint also cites nine other incidents in which customers were injured or killed.

Morales’ family, Feder said, suffered an incalculable loss that they want to shield others from experiencing.

“We want PG&E to change the way they do business,” Feder said. “By bringing this lawsuit, we want to prevent another family from suffering a similar senseless tragedy.”

PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles said he understands the motive behind the lawsuit and that the company supports the Morales family.

“Our heart goes out to her family, and we respect their right to file the lawsuit,” Boyles said. “We will continue to work with them to address their concerns.”

The complaint is scheduled to be heard on Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. in a coordinated hearing for several lawsuits filed against PG&E at the Superior Court of California Southern Branch Annex at 500 County Center in Redwood City.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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