Five new lawsuits were brought against PG&E in San Mateo County Superior Court yesterday, with five families affected by the September 9 inferno suing the utility for unspecified damages as well as the removal of the gas pipeline from the neighborhood. These are not the first suits to reach court, with the first class action suit arriving swiftly on September 17, and another earlier this month, demanding that PG&E turn over control of its $100 million victims' fund to an independent body.
As the Chron reports today, these new suits "were filed days after PG&E began offering as much as $50,000 in bonuses to people whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged if they either rebuild quickly or sell their property to the company." Frank Pitre, the attorney behind the suits, sounds like a bit of an opportunist, saying that he has suits coming from two dozen more families in the coming weeks. He and the families argue that PG&E was negligent, and they are demanding an immediate injunction forcing the company to "move, repair and/or replace the dangerous and defective pipeline."