The North Bay Fire Litigation is in the discovery phase. During this phase the parties formally investigate the evidence about what caused the fires, who should be held responsible, and why. Judge Karnow has decided that the first phase of the lawsuits will be devoted to determining PG&E’s liability rather than quantifying the harm plaintiffs have suffered.
Wildfire that swept through 500 acres of land in Western Nevada County. The fire reached the town limits and destroyed 12 homes and 22 other structures, including a schoolhouse in 1994.
Cal Fire has determined that the October 2017 Cascade Fire “was started by sagging [PG&E] power lines coming into contact during heavy winds.” According to Cal Fire’s press release, the Cascade Fire started on the evening of October 8, burned a total of 9,989 acres, destroyed 264 structures, and resulted in four civilian fatalities and one firefighter injury.
Our complaint alleges that PG&E was aware of the risk of wildfires in Northern California and problems with its infrastructure. As described in the complaint, in 2013, an outside consulting group conducted an independent review of PG&E’s proposed expenditures. The report concluded that “several aspects of the PG&E distribution system present significant safety issues,” including PG&E’s use of “obsolete” wiring subject to “corrosion issues.” The Report specifically describes:
According to an article by the Chico Enterprise-Record, the Butte County District Attorney’s office and PG&E reached a $1.5 million settlement agreement in connection with damage caused to the county by three of the destructive October 2017 wildfires (the La Porte, Cherokee, and Honey Fires).