Just before sunrise on November 8, Camp Wildfire (also known as Camp Fire) began to blaze through Butte and Plumas counties, consuming nearly 14,000 homes and leading to at least 88 deaths and countless injuries. By the time California’s deadliest, most destructive wildfire was contained seventeen days later, an area roughly five times the size of San Francisco had been destroyed. Unsafe infrastructure owned, operated and maintained by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) caused the fire.
Several plaintiffs have filed a class-action complaint against PG&E. The class-action lawsuit alleges that PG&E knew its aging infrastructure was vulnerable to damage from environmental conditions, yet failed to make the improvements necessary to protect the public.
The PG&E lawsuit claims that the company violated the California Public Health & Safety Code and the California Utilities Code. Plaintiffs seek to hold PG&E liable for property damage, widespread negligence, and the loss of the victims’ economic livelihoods.
California law requires utility companies to maintain the integrity of their infrastructures. Their responsibilities include proper:
Utility companies’ infrastructure includes:
This is not the first time PG&E has come under fire for non-compliance with safety regulations. The company has been cited for code violations numerous times, and while similar disasters have occurred in the past due to its negligence, never before have the consequences been so far-reach and extreme. This catastrophe and the resulting PG&E lawsuit should be a wake-up call to the company to bring its infrastructure up to standard.
Disasters like the California wildfire cause incalculable damage to ordinary people’s lives. With housing and jobs lost overnight, people are forced to seek shelter where they can, not knowing how, or if, they will survive. Class-action complaints like the PG&E lawsuit can take years to wind their way through the court system. LawCash provides litigation financing to help disaster-survivors cover day-to-day expenses as well as medical bills incurred as the result of disaster-related injuries. If you’ve been impacted by a catastrophe caused by others’ negligence, call us or apply online to determine whether you may be a candidate for pre-settlement funding.