Camp Fire Lawyers File PG&E Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Northern California Fire Lawyers have filed a Camp Fire wrongful death lawsuit against PG&E, alleging that the electric utility caused the deadliest wildfire in California history. The lawsuit complaint alleges that PG&E cut costs by failing to maintain its electrical equipment, and an equipment failure sparked the 2018 Camp Fire.

According to the complaint, Cal Fire investigators have removed the portion of the PG&E electrical transmission tower that failed, as part of their investigation into the cause of the 2018 Camp Fire conflagration.

The complaint calls PG&E’s safety record is an “abomination,” noting that a report to the California utility commission in 2013 found that PG&E’s equipment posed “significant safety issues.” Rather than do the necessary maintenance to reduce the safety risk, PG&E decided to “accept” the risk and purchase liability insurance coverage instead, according to the complaint. Although California forbids companies from getting insurance for punitive damages — a severe form of damages designed to punish companies with intentional or grossly negligent conduct — PG&E bought punitive-damages insurance in Bermuda and other offshore locations in the amount of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to the complaint. In essence, the complaint argues, rather than fix its safety issues, PG&E bought insurance to pay off wildfire and other victims and insure itself against large punitive damage awards by California juries for its flagrantly bad safety record.

The complaint includes as a plaintiff Glenn Carlson, who lost his mother and aunt when their shared home was ignited by the Camp Fire. His mother, Barbara Carlson, is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren. The complaint details:

On November 8, 2018, when the fire tore through Paradise, the two sisters were trapped in their home, unable to escape. They phoned family members, none of whom were close enough to save them, and told them they would pray that God would protect them. Unfortunately, Barbara’s and Shirley’s bodies were found in their home by authorities who searched for remains in the fire’s debris.

About Northern California Fire Lawyers

Northern California Fire Lawyers is a team of more than 30 attorneys from a coalition of three Northern California law firms: Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle, Danko Meredith and Gibbs Law Group.  Collectively, our fire lawyers have more experience investigating and bringing claims against PG&E than any law firm in California.  Our attorneys have been appointed by California judges to leadership positions in some of the largest fire and disaster cases, including the Butte Fire Cases, 2017 PG&E Fire Cases, and San Bruno Explosion lawsuits.

Our attorneys currently represent over 200 families who are victims of the 2015 Butte Fire that devastated over 70,000 acres.  We have earned hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and members of our team have been honored for their work with numerous awards, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “Top Women Lawyers in Northern California,” among others.

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