On November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted in Butte County, California. Initial reports indicate it may have been caused when high-voltage Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) power lines were blown down by high winds and ignited ground vegetation near Pugla Road. The Camp Fire currently has caused at least 77 deaths, burned more than 150,000 acres and destroyed more than 14,000 homes and businesses. Over 1,000 people are still missing or unaccounted for.
If you are a resident of Butte County and believe you have a claim for the loss of your home, personal property and/or business, contact Franklin D. Azar & Associates and the Butte County law firm Garner & Associates here for a free case evaluation. There is no fee unless we recover.
The Class Action Claims Against Pacific Gas & Electric
On November 16, 2018 FDAzar and Garner & Associates filed a class action lawsuit in the Butte County Superior Court on behalf of Butte County victims of the Camp Fire. The lawsuit claims PG&E caused the deadliest wildfire in California history by failing to take adequate precautions to protect the residents of Butte County through proper maintenance of its equipment and taking proper precautions to make sure its equipment did not come in contact with dry vegetation, such as implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff planned on November 8 because of high wind forecasts.
This is the third time since 2015 that PG&E’s equipment has been linked to wildfires in Butte County. PG&E agreed to pay more than $24 million in damages to Butte County residents in the 2015 Butte Fire, and the troubled utility is also facing potential liability for the 2017 Cherokee wildfire in Northern California.
The lawsuit contends the circumstances that produced the recent Camp Fire were foreseeable and preventable, but “PG&E has a long history of disregarding safety regulations in order to maximize its own corporate profits.” The lawsuit seeks damages for the named plaintiffs and all similarly situated Butte County victims of the Camp Fire.
Why a Class Action?
A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several plaintiffs represent a large group (or “class”) of individuals who have suffered similar losses at the hands of the same defendant(s). Plaintiffs in a class action are typically going up against large corporations with vast resources who will use those resources to fight legitimate claims. Often it is more efficient and cost-effective to combine large numbers of claims involving common legal and factual issues against a common defendant into a single action. Bringing one lawsuit rather than several hundred individual lawsuits saves on legal costs and court time, prevents inconsistent verdicts, and allows individuals to benefit more victims combining their losses to make their case exponentially stronger.