The jury was supposed to be empanelled in February to hear and decide ten families’ test cases against PG&E. But over the last few weeks, while the attorneys argued pre-trial motions, a number of those families’ cases settled. Today, the judge ruled that the four cases that are still on for trial (Healy, O’Neill, Chea, and Kim) are not a sufficient representative sample of the more than 100 lawsuits that remain. So he ordered the trial date off calendar.
About a quarter of the more than 100 cases filed against PG&E have now settled. Many of the settlements have come in the last couple of months. With the trial date off calendar, all the lawyers are to return to court on January 23 to provide the court with a plan for proceeding. The plan is to include a way of possibly settling all families’ claims without the need for any trial at all.
Certainly, PG&E has settled more cases recently. Is that because PG&E has decided settling the cases was the right thing to do for the victims of the explosion? Or was it simply because trial was right around the corner?
We’ll know more about that in the next few weeks.
Related coverage from Joshua Melvin at the San Mateo County Times.