Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PG&E "San Bruno Fire" Cases

California Court of Appeals, First District, Third Division

December 18, 2019

PG&E “SAN BRUNO FIRE” CASES

          San Mateo County Superior Court No. JCCP4648 Hon. Steven Dylina Trial Judge

          Counsel: Hagens, Berman, Sobol & Shapiro, Steven Berman, Kevin Green, for Derivative Plaintiff.

          Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi, Nastari & Riddle, Dario de Ghetaldi, for Derivative Plaintiff.

          Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, Frank Pitre and Mark Molumphy, for Derivative Plaintiff.

          Latham & Watkins, Robert Perrin, for Defendants.

          PETROU, J.

         This appeal arises from the settlement of several shareholder derivative lawsuits filed against the management of Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (collectively referred to as “PG&E”) regarding the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno. The lawsuits were consolidated as part of the PG&E San Bruno Fire Derivative Cases and resolved by a settlement agreement that provided for settling plaintiffs' counsel to be paid in the aggregate $25 million in attorney fees and $500, 000 in costs.

         By his notice of appeal filed on August 30, 2017, settling plaintiff Gary Sender (Sender) seeks to challenge the court's allocation determination embodied in three orders issued on April 17, 21, and 24, 2017. The appeal is opposed by respondents Hind Bou-Salman (Bou-Salman) and Louis Marini (Marini), two other settling plaintiffs, who seek dismissal of the appeal on various grounds. We dismiss the appeal as the operative settlement agreement unequivocally deems the trial court's allocation determination to be final and not subject to appellate review.

         FACTS

         We set forth only those facts necessary to give context to our ruling.

         Following the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, area residents filed numerous lawsuits seeking to recover damages for personal injuries and property damage. The residents' lawsuits were coordinated as JCCP No. 4648 and assigned to a trial court for all purposes. Subsequently, PG&E shareholders Sender, Bou-Salman, and Marini (hereinafter also collectively referred to as plaintiffs) filed derivative lawsuits against the management of PG&E, which lawsuits were coordinated with the residents' lawsuits as well as additional shareholders' derivative lawsuits.

         In March 2017, plaintiffs, by named lead co-counsel Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, [1] filed a motion asking the trial court for preliminary approval of a settlement agreement that resolved their shareholder derivative lawsuits, as well as certain additional shareholders' derivative lawsuits. The stipulation of settlement included the following definitions:

         “1.9 ‘Final' means the time when a judgment that has not been reversed, vacated, or modified in any way is no longer subject to appellate review, either because of disposition on appeal and conclusion of the appellate process (including potential writ proceedings) or because of passage, without action, of time for seeking appellate or writ review. More specifically, it is that situation when (1) either no appeal or petition for review by writ has been filed and the time has passed for any notice of appeal or writ petition to be timely filed from the Judgment; or (2) if an appeal has been filed, the court of appeal has either affirmed the Judgment or dismissed that appeal and the time for any reconsideration or further appellate review has passed; or (3) a higher court has granted further appellate review and that court has either affirmed the underlying Judgment or affirmed the court of appeal's decision affirming the Judgment or dismissing the appeal or writ proceeding, and the time for any reconsideration or further appellate review has passed.

         “1.17 ‘Plaintiffs in the Additional Derivative Cases' means PG&E Corporation shareholders Andrew Bushkin, Iron Workers Mid-South Pension Fund, and Bruce Tellardin.

         “1.18 ‘Related Persons' means... attorneys...

         “1.21 ‘Releasing Persons' means... the Settling Plaintiffs... and each and all of their Related Persons.

         “1.27 ‘Settling Parties' means, collectively, each of the Settling Plaintiffs (on behalf of themselves and derivatively on behalf of PG&E), the SLC, PG&E, and the Settling Defendants.

         “1.28 ‘Settling Plaintiffs' means, collectively, Hind Bou-Salman, Gary Sender... Louis Marini.

         “1.29 ‘Settling Plaintiffs' Counsel' means: (i) Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP; and (ii) Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.”

         The settlement agreement's substantive paragraphs provided, in pertinent part:

         “2.1 Settlement Amount. In consideration of the Settlement, and subject to the terms and conditions of this Stipulation, the Settling Defendants shall cause to be paid by their insurance carriers ninety million dollars ($90, 000, 000.00) in unrestricted funds (the ‘Settlement Amount') to PG&E.... Such payment shall be due regardless of the existence of any appeals or objections to any aspect of the Settlement, including without limitation any appeals or objections to the Settlement itself, the Court's approval of any Fee and Expense Award or the Court's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.