SAN BRUNO (CBS / AP) — The utility company whose ruptured pipeline killed eight people in a massive explosion is seeking a jury trial to fight dozens of lawsuits, and part of its defense includes placing partial blame on some of the victims of the blast.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. made the request in a recent court filing denying that the company should have to pay damages.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

The filing does not respond to the allegations of specific suits, but instead offers a litany of defenses the utility may seek to put forward at trial.

The defenses include the claim that others may be responsible for the injuries or losses suffered in the September blast, including the victims themselves.

>>Photo Gallery: San Bruno Pipeline Explosion

PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that the filing was “a standard part of the legal process.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. CC says:

    WHAT???? How do they figure the victim is to blame???
    I thought it was their responsibility to keep the gas lines in working order so an accident like this would never happen in the first place.
    I honestly don’t understand their line of thinking.

  2. Paul Burnett says:

    If blaming the victims is “a standard part of the legal process” then the laws protecting PG&E rather the victims need to be changed.

  3. Booga says:

    I think this is just gossip that the press is doing to make this head line.

  4. Marty says:

    PG&E stands for Purge Gouge & Extort. Making money off of human lives since 1905.

  5. Mark says:

    PG&E has no corporate conscience. The PUC rubber stamps every rate increase request, and these jerks have been rolling in FAR too much of the public’s money, using it to line their own pockets instead of spending it on system maintenance. They should have to pay for every penny of the victims’ losses, and not get one red cent of customer money to cover it. If they want to sue the sewer repair folks that’s fine, assuming they can prove any culpability. I think the multiple welded sections of different thicknesses, and maybe even different alloys, pretty much explains the failure.

  6. MD says:

    This is just typical of the amorality that pervades PG&E. The PUC has too much power and no accountability and the rate payers just get the short end every time! PG&E – have you no shame, no shame at all you greedy bast@rds!

  7. Paula R says:

    What about the rate hikes PG&E has been given over the years to keep the lines updated and safe? Records on repairs–what records? Rate hikes went to the top officials’ obscene salaries, bonuses, vacations, entertaining, gifts, etc. Guess that is why the victims are at fault; they were responsible for knowing where the money really went. Poor PG&E officials are the victims for what they may have to personally give up in the future (in reality, bet they don’t–but we will never know.) Let’s not forget the shareholders who also benefitted from each rate hike. Personally I do not understand while they were all not fired without severance pay and blackballed for the rest of their greedy lives.

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