Frank Pitre is Consumer Attorneys of California's 2013 Consumer Attorney of the Year
Frank M. Pitre is Consumer Attorneys of California’s 2013 Consumer Attorney of the Year for his work to force PG&E to adopt new safety measures after the San Bruno gas line explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in September 2010. The award was given to Pitre on November 16th at the awards dinner as part of CAOC’s 52nd Annual Convention at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. The Consumer Attorney of the Year award is given to a CAOC member or members who significantly advanced the rights or safety of California consumers by achieving a noteworthy result in a case.
As part of In re PG&E San Bruno Fire Cases, Pitre represented the wife/mother of a man and 17-year-old boy who burned to death in their home. PG&E claimed the explosion was an isolated incident resulting from a uniquely flawed weld in its pipeline, but Pitre and co-counsel Steve Campora, who was also named 2013 Consumer Attorney of the Year, proved that the explosion was symptomatic of a corporate culture that repeatedly circumvented rules and regulations necessary to assure the safety and integrity of its pipelines. PG&E engineers and other managing executives were forced to acknowledge that PG&E elected to push profits up to nearly a billion dollars per year, rather than testing and replacing its worn-out transmission lines to assure public safety. Pitre and Campora turned down significant monetary offers to negotiate a settlement that required PG&E to conduct more rigorous safety assessments than that required by regulators of the industry.