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Judge Caps Top Fine In San Bruno-Related Trial

twojciac / Flickr
 

twojciac / Flickr

(AP) - A federal judge cut in half the maximum fine that prosecutors can seek against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for its alleged criminal conduct connected to the deadly natural-gas explosion in San Bruno.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Wednesday that the ruling by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson in San Francisco means PG&E will face a maximum fine of $562 million when it goes to trial on 27 felony counts of pipeline safety code violations and one felony count of obstruction of justice.

The ruling Tuesday said the government had no legal basis for trying to penalize the company more than $1.1 billion.

Prosecutors still must justify that sum to Henderson in January, two months before the trial is scheduled to begin, the newspaper reported.

PG&E executives said they had not seen the ruling and declined to comment.