PG&E has paid out several million dollars in injury and property settlements following the Sept 9, 2010 gas pipeline explosion.
On Thursday, the public learned what Pacific Gas & Electric has paid one of the San Bruno blast survivors - but the information was publicized by mistake.
A San Mateo County court accidentally posted online one of the settlement documents. The San Mateo County Times reports those papers revealed PG&E paid a teen victim who suffered second- and third-degree burns $1.8 million, while giving another $677,000 to pay for attorney’s fees.
82-year-old Glenda Carney was at home when the pipeline exploded in front of her house at the intersection of Earl and Glenview. She says that amount is not nearly enough.
“I don’t think 1.8 million dollars covers anything that this woman, young woman had to go through.”
Carney is one of hundreds of people who’ve sued PG&E over the San Bruno explosion that killed eight. The utility says it has already settled seven of those eighth lawsuits involving deaths, and has settled most of the serious injury suits. PG&E estimates it will spend $455 million on all the San Bruno lawsuits, in addition to the $1.5 billion that it say shareholders have already committed in fixing the San Bruno situation.
“The pressure testing we’ve done in immediate aftermath, the company spent a lot of money to assist the victims, people who lost their houses, things like that,” says Earley.
Earley adds the utility will also commit $5 billion to its Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan. But Carney is upset that ratepayers may end up footing 85-percent of that bill, with shareholders only accounting for the other 15-percent. Not just that, but under California Public Utilities Commission guidelines, PG&E could stand to profit from it. Earley says it’s business and investors need a return.
It’s still not enough for Carney who says the house she lived in for 44 years, and everything inside, was destroyed. She adds she still has nightmares, and has to undergo counseling indefinitely.
“There’s a lot of recovery still for the people of San Bruno.”