BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A settlement has been reached between PG&E and the families of two women who suffered serious burns in a 2015 gas pipeline explosion.
Daniel Rodriguez, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, said the only comment he could give was that they’re finalizing terms.
The development came after three days of a trial that remains ongoing with two other defendants: Big N Deep Agricultural Development and Ag-Wise Enterprises. The trial is expected to last into September.
On Nov. 13, 2015, a bulldozer struck a large transmission line near Wible and Houghton roads, sparking a huge explosion that incinerated the operator and destroyed a nearby home.
Gloria Ruckman, her 17-day-old son and her mother, Amalia Leal, were inside the home when the blast hit. They escaped the inferno but suffered major burn injuries and spent weeks in a hospital.
PG&E attorneys argued Monday the pipeline was properly marked while attorneys for Big N Deep, which employed the operator who hit the line, said the utility used the wrong type of markers, set them too far apart and didn’t have a standby inspector on scene to supervise the operation, as required under safety guidelines.
Ag-Wise hired Big N Deep, which was performing deep ripping to prepare the soil for the planting of almond trees.