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Judge Orders PG&E To Public Service, Shaming For Deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion

A federal judge has ordered California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), to spend about $3 million on television and newspaper advertisements to inform the public it had been found guilty of violating natural gas pipeline safety regulations, which led to a catastrophic subterranean pipeline explosion in San Bruno. The penalty is part of a larger criminal sentencing that has sparked some controversy among critics. In addition to the “public shaming ads” and a maximum $3-million penalty, PG&E executives must also perform 2,000 hours of community service and the company as a whole must perform an additional 8,000 ... Read More

NYC Man Crippled By E-Cigarette Injuries Discharged From Hospital

The New York man who was severely burned by an exploding e-cigarette while working at a wine shop in Grand Central Station was discharged from the hospital Sunday. But instead of getting a clean bill of health, Otis Gooding left the Burn Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in pain, with diminished physical abilities, and an uncertain future. “I’m afraid about my hand … about using my hand, and I’m right-handed and I’m still worried about my leg, about how fully can I walk on my leg and stuff — and I can barely walk now,” Mr. Gooding told the New ... Read More

Natural Gas Explosion Rocks Portland Shopping District, Injuring Seven

A massive explosion thought to be caused by a natural gas leak ripped through a building in Portland, Ore., Wednesday morning, injuring seven people and causing extensive property damage. The blast occurred about 9:40 a.m. in a building occupied by Portland Bagelworks. That restaurant and at least two others in the trendy Northwest Avenue shopping district were significantly damaged, reducing one three-story building into “a pile of rubble,” The Oregonian reported. The natural gas leak was first reported at 8:55 a.m. A NW Natural gas utility crew and Portland firefighters responded to the report and evacuated the building upon arriving ... Read More

PG&E Found Guilty Of Criminal Obstruction In San Bruno Blast Trial

A federal jury found Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility company, guilty of obstructing investigators probing a deadly 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people and leveled dozens of homes in the San Francisco Bay area. The criminal trial ended Tuesday with the utility convicted of six charges, including one charge that it obstructed a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official investigating the blasts, which occurred on Sept. 9 in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco. The other five charges stemmed from federal pipeline safety violations. Federal prosecutors argued during the trial that PG&E intentionally misled federal ... Read More

Alabama getting $93.8 million for BP oil spill recovery and restoration projects

Alabama is set to receive $93.8 million in oil spill money for coastal restoration projects in the third and largest installment to come from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which was established to help the U.S. Gulf coast recover from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees made the announcement on Friday that Alabama and the four other Gulf Coast states would soon be receiving their share of $1 billion in funds BP provided as a down payment in April 2011. Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas will share $627 million in ... Read More

Cleanup workers sickened by BP oil spill face legal limbo with medical claims

Cleanup workers and coastal residents who were exposed to crude oil and chemical dispersants from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be forced into the same kind of protracted litigation that prevented Exxon Valdez cleanup workers from getting medical assistance and relief from doctor’s bills. Some 20,000 Gulf coast residents and cleanup workers, many of them suffering from chronic health problems that manifested several months after their exposure to the oil and other contaminants, are part of a medical damages settlement class, but find themselves in a legal limbo thanks to, as WWL-TV reported, “a disputed reading of one phase ... Read More

Judge strikes down BP’s efforts to recoup money paid on oil spill claims

A federal judge in New Orleans overseeing the BP oil spill litigation said that the company will not be permitted to take back hundreds of millions of dollars it paid out to victims harmed by the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP had sought to recoup payments it considered excessive from some oil spill claimants. Those payments were calculated under the accounting methods established by the 2012 settlement agreement, before Judge Carl Barbier ordered the claims administrator’s office last year to implement new accounting procedures BP considered fairer. However, Judge Barbier found in a hearing last week that the payments ... Read More

Halliburton agrees to $1.1-billion resolution of Deepwater Horizon oil spill claims

Beasley Allen lawyers and other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) leading the BP oil spill litigation announced they have reached a $1.1-billion settlement with Halliburton Energy Services over its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The settlement, subject to approval by a New Orleans federal court, is to be paid into a trust in three installments over the next two years until all appeals have been resolved. Halliburton, an oil-field services provider that cemented the doomed well a mile beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig, agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge last year for destroying evidence ... Read More

New study confirms BP oil spill is destroying deep-sea coral reefs

BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a broader, deeper impact on life in the Gulf of Mexico than researchers previously thought, according to a new study conducted by Pennsylvania State University scientists. The researchers documented their discovery of two partially dead deep-sea coral reefs about 14 miles east of BP’s blown-out Macondo wellhead, ground zero for the largest oil spill ever recorded. Before the researchers discovered these damaged reefs, they only knew of one coral reef that had been devastated by the BP spill, but that reef was little more than 8.5 miles from the Macondo well and in ... Read More

Future looks bleak for oyster production after BP oil spill

Louisiana oyster beds that have yielded rich harvests for generations now produce little more than dozens of “empty, lifeless oyster shells,” the Associated Press reported, underscoring the death blow dealt by BP’s 2010 oil spill to local fisherman and businesses in some parts of the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion released millions of gallons of crude oil into some of the Gulf’s most ecologically sensitive regions. According to the AP, “thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than ... Read More