San Bruno Man Sues PG&E Over Explosion

Lawsuit intended to benefit all residents in blast zone

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    SAN BRUNO, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Firefighters investigate the scene of a massive explosion and fire September 10, 2010 in San Bruno, California. Thirty eight homes were destroyed and four people were killed when a Pacific Gas and Electric gas main blew up in a San Bruno, California neighborhood near San Francisco International Airport on Thursday evening. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    A San Bruno man is suing Pacific Gas and Electric Company for repercussions from a gas pipeline explosion that tore through his neighborhood Sept. 9, his attorney said Saturday.

    Steve Dare, a resident of San Bruno, rents a home that was near the explosion of a natural gas pipeline that destroyed at least 37 homes and killed at least four people. Several others were injured. Dare was not injured in the blast and his home was not damaged but he had to evacuate for several days, according to his attorney, William Audet.

    Audet filed a lawsuit against PG&E in San Mateo County Superior Court with the intention of seeking damages for all residents impacted by the explosion. He added that the class action-level suit seeks to create a fund of up to $100 million, which PG&E has pledged to help the victims, into a court trust account.

    "The problem now is the lack of transparency with respect to the overall distribution of the funds," Audet said. "We think that this would remove any problems with conflicts with PG&E's own agenda."

    In addition to the fund, PG&E President Chris Johns said PG&E has already presented San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane with a check for $3 million to  help cover the costs of responding to the disaster and to "rebuild the parks, rebuild the streets, rebuild the sidewalks."

    The company also will be issuing checks of up to $50,000 to individual households affected by the explosion and fire.