Possible Negligence in San Bruno Fire
As officials from the NTSB and PG&E continue their investigation into the cause of the San Bruno gas explosion, state investigators have turned their attention to a segmented pipe that had been classified as “high risk” due to its proximity to homes in the area. Responsible for the deaths of at least four people, destroying and damaging several homes, and injuring 60 people, the cause of the San Bruno gas explosion isn’t yet clear. However, several people reported smelling gas in the area days before the explosion.
Section of Segmented Pipe Attracts Attention of Investigators
The section of pipe in question consists of 28-foot section that isn’t solid and seamless but rather appears to be made up of segments welded together. Concerned that a pipe made up of segmented sections is more prone to leaks, corrosion, and wear, the NTSB has asked PG&E to explain why they would use a pipe constructed in this way as part of a gas line. The pipeline that exploded appears to have been installed in 1956 when there were fewer homes in the area.
As population in the area increased, more homes were built nearer to the gas line, resulting in its “high risk” designation. As a result, the line was not outfitted with automatic shut-off valves but manual ones. Christopher Hart, Vice Chairman of the NTSB, has indicated they will be looking closely at what role the manual shut-off valve may have played in the explosion.
Liability, Injury Claims, and the San Bruno Gas Explosion
While investigators continue to determine the cause of the San Bruno natural gas explosion, it’s important for effected homeowners and injury victims to contact their insurance carrier and an attorney. Even though initial information indicates PG&E may have acted negligently in not properly responding to earlier reports of the smell of gas, someone digging in the area may have caused the explosion. As a result, responsibility for the San Bruno gas explosion may be attributable to a contractor, homeowner, PG&E or a combination of all three. Here, legal issues surrounding liability and subrogation can complicate issues and create unnecessary difficulties for injured people and homeowners trying to recover what they’ve lost.
Legal Representation – Protecting Your Interests and Rights
In order to protect your interests and rights, it’s important to work with an experienced team of personal injury attorneys who can ensure your insurance company honors all of their commitments in a timely, transparent manner. Additionally, taking photos of your property and documenting your injuries are also important should the need to go to trial arise at some point in the future.
With four office locations throughout the Bay Area – San Francisco, Oakland, San Rafael, and San Jose – the personal injury law office of Weber & Nierenberg has helped countless people and families recover compensation for injuries and property loss. We’ve represented a number of clients in cases involving carbon monoxide poisoning and understand the issues involved in the maintenance and installation of natural gas pipelines.
For more information regarding our practice or to speak with one of our attorneys for a free consultation, call San Bruno gas explosion attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg at 415-788-3900 or toll free at 1-866-288-6010 today. If you prefer you can email us and we will contact you shortly.