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The State | IN BRIEF / FRESNO

PG&E Bankruptcy May Affect Class-Action Suit

January 01, 2002

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s bankruptcy could jeopardize a class-action suit by 1,200 people who allege they were exposed to contaminated water at the utility's Kettleman Hills facility.

Lawyers for both sides are scheduled to appear Thursday in a San Francisco bankruptcy court to argue over whether the case will be heard by a state or federal court and whether the bankruptcy will limit a judgment or settlement.

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs, most of whom had some connection to the utility's Kettleman Compressor Station in western Kings County, were exposed to water contaminated with chromium 6 through a well. They are suing the utility for $500 million.

PG&E denies any wrongdoing.

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