SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants to avoid paying punitive damages to survivors of the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion, saying the blast was an accident rather than the result of mismanagement.

PG&E faces more than 100 civil lawsuits for the pipeline explosion, which killed eight and destroyed 38 homes on Sept. 9, 2010. Relatives who lost family members and property are seeking punitive damages as well as millions of dollars in compensation.

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Earlier this month, the company filed court documents accepting responsibility for the blast. But the company also argued that plaintiffs’ attorneys did not prove PG&E is guilty of wrongdoing, which is required to trigger punitive damages.

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Plaintiffs’ attorneys tell the San Jose Mercury News there is overwhelming evidence that the explosion was preventable.

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