Gas leaked from a service line buried beneath a busy street. The gas found its way into nearby homes, where it ignited. The explosion killed two and burned three.
PG&E blamed a contractor who struck the service line with a backhoe during a sewer repair project some months earlier. We proved that the contractor damaged the line only because PG&E did not give the contractor accurate information as to the line’s location.
In the course of the case, we forced PG&E to turn over thousands of documents and we questioned hundreds of witnesses. That evidence showed that the utility failed to take appropriate action in response to numerous leak reports in the weeks leading to the explosion. Had it done so, the accident would have been avoided.