The PG&E shareholder lawsuit, filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, says that PG&E’s executives created a “profits over safety” culture which catalyzed tragedies like the 2010 San Bruno Fire that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.
PG&E officials reported that the utility has settled nearly 500 confidential claims totaling more than $565 million related to the San Bruno explosion. But the California Public Utilities Commission is mulling over a fine against PG&E that could exceed $2 billion.
“Had PG&E’s management required that corporate funds be used for maintenance and repairs when it should have, the cost to PG&E would have been minimal in comparison to the significant financial injury the company now faces and will face in the future,” the Hind Bou-Salman lawsuit reads.
Hind Bou-Salman, a Millbrae, California resident and PG&E stockholder for 23 years, want the executive bonuses given back, and changes to the company’s management structure and culture.
Mark Molumphy, the attorney representing Hind Bou-Salman, said “PG&E and its shareholders are bearing the financial brunt of decisions made by the company’s executives.”
“The complaint today alleges that PG&E’s executives, not its shareholders, should be held responsible for fostering a corporate culture that minimized the need to address safety,” Molumphy said.
PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord said, “We are carefully reviewing the allegations and we’ll respond according to the process set by the court.” Chord said, “We remain committed to providing our communities with a safe and reliable gas system.”