UPDATE 1-PG&E settles with San Bruno victim for $2.5 mln-report

Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:07am IST

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Aug 30 (Reuters) - Court-sealed documents accidentally posted online by a California court revealed that PG&E Corp settled with a teenage victim of the 2010 San Bruno pipeline blast for nearly $2.5 million, according to a newspaper report.

The link to the "San Bruno Pipeline Coordinated Case" on the San Mateo County Superior Court website had been taken down as of Thursday. Tim Benton, director of information technology for the court, said it would be available again in the near future, and that the accidental document posting had been corrected.

Benton said in an email that the court's redaction technology for sealed documents failed. "We are researching the cause of the technology failure and will implement an enhanced process that contains several checkpoints to ensure that these problems will not occur in the future," he added.

The San Mateo County Times reported that the documents posted on the court website showed the utility paid the teenager, a girl, $1.8 million, plus $677,700 to cover her attorneys' fees and $19,400 for medical expenses.

The pipeline blast on Sept. 9, 2010, left her with second- and third-degree burns that required extensive treatment and would likely leave scars, the newspaper said, citing the lawsuit.

It was a year ago on Thursday that investigators released a report blaming PG&E's lax approach to pipeline safety and weak government oversight for the blast, which destroyed 38 homes, killed eight people and injured dozens more.

The documents, which had been sealed by court order, were filed on July 18, according to the newspaper.

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