Why California Wildfire Victims Are Filing Lawsuits
Many California residents were victims of the dangerous and devastating wildfire that occurred in 2018. As a result of the fires, some residents filed a lawsuit against California’s largest utility company, PG&E. The lawsuit alleged that PG&E was negligent, and failed to operate according to current health and safety codes, which led to the hazardous blaze that claimed the lives of 48 people.
Three law firms file the lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court. These law firms now refer to themselves as the Northern California Fire Lawyers.
The prominent utility company responded to the lawsuits by saying that the cause of the wildfires, referred to as the Camp Fire, had not yet been determined when the lawsuits were filed. PG&E also stated that the company was focusing its attention on providing support for first responders and ensuring utility crew members were prepared to respond to additional wildfire-related emergencies should they arise. PG&E also shared that its team members were hard at work restoring gas and electric service to California residents.
More About The Camp Fire
The Camp Fire began in early November 2018 and demolished the Butte County town of Paradise, which was located in the Sierra Foothills. Paradise, which is about 175 miles from San Francisco, was significantly destroyed after being engulfed in flames.
Both Southern California Edison EIX.N and PG&E contacted regulators to report issues with substations and transmission lines in several areas of Northern California around the same time the wildfire was initially reported. However, the lawsuit filed by several individuals who live in the state asserts that PG&E did not repair, properly maintain, or replace necessary equipment and that this negligent behavior is one of the factors that led to the Camp Fire.
There is also information in the lawsuit stating the PG&E sent warnings to many of its customers, stating that the utility company may have to turn the power off due to the high probability of wildfires. This is another point brought out by the lawsuit. California citizens involved in this legal matter want to make it clear that even though PG&E was aware of and acknowledged potentially hazardous conditions, the company did not follow through with its plan to shut off the power on the first day of the Camp Fire. However, the month before the fires, PG&E cut off electricity for around 60,000 customers to stop wildfires when intense winds threatened to knock over trees and electrical lines.
Recovering After the Fire
Individuals looking for the remains of victims who lost their lives in the Paradise wildfires expanded their mission while firefighters enhanced their efforts to control the ongoing blaze.
The origins of the Camp Fire, as well as the Woolsey Fire are still pending investigation. These fires destroyed the northern and southern regions of California, respectfully. Mike Ramsey, the Butte County District Attorney spoke with KRCR television shortly after the fires and stated that PG&E’s involvement in the wildfires was speculation. Ramsey also shared that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protect arrived as quickly as possible when the fire started to ensure that evidence and equipment would be reserved for any future investigation.
If you and your family have been victims of a California Wildfire, you can contact Kerley Schaffer LLP for legal counsel and assistance. The qualified team of lawyers will review your case and let you know if you are entitled to receive a settlement. The sooner you contact an experienced lawyer, the sooner you and your loved ones can receive the compensation you deserve and need to rebuild your life and secure your future.