Lawsuits against PG&E over pipeline explosion to go to trial in July

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A crater filled with water marks the site of the pipeline explosion that caused a fire Sept. 9, 2010, in a San Bruno, Calif., neighborhood.

Nearly 100 civil lawsuits alleging misconduct by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in the wake of last year's pipeline explosion in San Bruno will go to trial next summer.

More than 90 suits that have been filed against the utility will have their trial date set for July 2, 2012.

On Thursday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina ordered attorneys for the plaintiffs and the company to meet again next month to set up a process so that suits filed by victims and their families can be brought to trial as a group.

Lawsuits brought against the company by shareholders will be heard separately.

The Sept. 9 explosion killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed dozens of homes in the suburb overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

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