San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Steven Dylina’s decision is expected on Tuesday.
More than 350 people have filed civil suits against PG&E over the 2010 blast, which killed eight and destroyed 38 homes. Relatives who lost family members and property are seeking punitive damages and millions of dollars in compensation.
The trial is set to begin in January.
PG&E wants to avoid paying survivors extra damages, and has claimed in court filings that the explosion was an accident rather than the result of mismanagement.