A Family's Tragedy Will Change A Company And Save Lives: Requiring PG&E To Change!
On April 15, 2011, James and Gabriela Greig filed an action against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) following the tragic deaths of loving wife, Jacqueline Greig, and daughter, Janessa Greig, which occurred during the San Bruno pipeline explosion of September 9, 2010.
The Greigs have now finalized the settlement of their claims with non-monetary terms first available for disclosure in October 2012. The monetary provisions of the settlement remain confidential, but PG&E agreed to meet plaintiffs' monetary demands, as well as to allow for the non-monetary provisions in the Greig settlement.
James and Gabriela Greig, through their counsel, sought to enhance PG&E's pipeline safety assessment system for the purposes of minimizing the chances that a future similar tragedy might occur. Working through their attorneys, Steve Campora and Robert Buccola of Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP, and Panish Shea & Boyle, while consulting with independently retained pipeline engineers, the Greigs requested that PG&E include, as part of its integrity management plan for gas transmission lines, a fatigue life assessment to augment PG&E's post-accident safety assessment protocols. Compelling this type of action could not have been effected through continued traditional litigation that seeks money damages only.
In their negotiations, the Greigs and PG&E shared the common goal of improving pipeline safety assessment practices. To this end, PG&E agreed to incorporate an additional safety assessment practice into its integrity management company procedures for all segments of gas transmission lines within High Consequence Areas (HCA) areas, as follows:
- PG&E will verify through documented hydrostatic testing measurements, or if not available, will conduct hydrostatic testing for the purpose of assessing and measuring the fitness for continued use of each high consequence gas transmission line in California. This verification/testing is to be completed no later than December 31, 2015, or as ordered by the CPUC.
- Fatigue life calculations will be used to predict the safe useful lifespan of the gas transmission lines so that lines can be replaced before they become a risk to the public.
- The provisions of this Fracture Control and Assessment Plan, as part of this settlement, are enforceable by the Greigs, at their option, and in their sole and exclusive discretion. PG&E has further agreed to keep the Greigs advised of the progress of its work and the Greigs have the option of auditing PG&E's progress if they so choose.
"Our efforts to resolve this case, during the last six months this case was prosecuted, focused almost exclusively on strategies for assessing the potential for gas line failures in the future. PG&E and its counsel, while working with our engineers, agreed to implement these additional quantifiable safety measures," says attorney Steve Campora, co-lead counsel for all of the PG&E plaintiffs.
Both sides agreed to include, as part of their settlement, a performance provision which is rarely seen in civil litigation, but which furthered the goals of the Greig family in bringing their wrongful death action.
"PG&E could not have been compelled by a jury verdict to include these additional assessment measures, so we are very pleased that they cooperated with our efforts to make these safeguards enforceable as part of our settlement. We appreciate PG&E's willingness to take the high road with its promises here." says attorney Steve Campora.
About The Attorneys
At Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, we strive to provide you the highest quality legal representation for your injury or loss of a loved one. Our passion is helping people, and our focus is always on the client. We are committed to getting you not only a fair result or a just result, but the best result we can for your own individual situation. That's because we treat you as an individual and tailor the way we build your case around your unique circumstances.