PG&E Says It Wants to Pay Victims, Court Sets Claims Deadline
In a court hearing in June, PG&E told the court that it apologized for causing the fires and wants to pay fire victims.
PG&E has also internally proposed establishing a $14 billion fund to resolve legal claims arising from the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, according to a report by Bloomberg. The global settlement, if approved, would apply to every Camp Fire lawsuit.
The bankruptcy judge handling the Camp Fire lawsuits against PG&E set an October 21, 2019 deadline to file papers in bankruptcy court. If people don’t file a claim, they will get NO recovery.
The judge has set an October 21 claims deadline. If you haven’t already contacted an attorney, you should.
Cal Gov. Finds that PG&E Caused The Camp Fire
Cal Fire investigators announced on Tuesday, May 15th that the November 2018 Camp Fire was caused by electrical transmission lines owned by PG&E. In CAL Fire’s official statement, the agency said it conducted “a very meticulous and thorough investigation” of the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history.
Why Over 2300 Clients Chose Us: Experience Matters.
- We filed our first lawsuit against PG&E nearly 30 years ago, and in these types of fire cases, no firm has more experience suing PG&E.
- We have won settlements against PG&E for hundreds of fire victims since 2010.
- We are more than 30 lawyers strong and we have the manpower, knowledge, and financial resources to take PG&E all the way through trial if necessary
It’s Important to Speak to a Lawyer Now.
The steps and actions you take in the aftermath of the fire can affect your rights and ability to file claims against PG&E going forward. An attorney can guide you and help preserve your rights even if you are not ready to join the Camp Fire lawsuit at this time. We also represent those who lost family members in the Camp Fire.
You Don’t Pay Anything Unless We Win.
If we don’t win, you owe us nothing. We will not charge you legal fees or for any the costs of litigating your case unless you win a recovery from PG&E.
The bankruptcy judge handling the Camp Fire case against PG&E has set an October 21, 2019 deadline to file your claim in bankruptcy court.
The bankruptcy judge ruled that if you are a wildfire survivor, you must file papers with the court by October 21st. If you don’t file your claim with the court by the deadline, you will no longer be eligible for payout to your losses. Our Northern California Fire Attorney, Mike Danko argued against the October deadline because often it takes fire victims a year or more to file a claim.
During his argument, Mike Danko shared his concern for the Camp Fire victims by stating:
Victims of other fires have had more than a year to step forward but I know from prior experience, we will have some from the Camp Fire who are still living in parking lots or don’t have a computer or just cant act, who will in January say ‘I am ready to file a claim’ and I will have to say it’s too late you needed to file by Oct. 21
According to a submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission today, PG&E stated that it “believes it is probable that the Utility’s equipment will be determined to be an ignition point of the 2018 Camp [F]ire.” As a result, the company is including a $10.5 billion pre-tax charge related to Camp Fire claims, along with a new $1.0 billion charge relating to the 2017 Atlas and Cascade Fires. Altogether, the company has reserved a total of $14 billion to pay wildfire claims who make a claim in bankruptcy.
PG&E provided more detail in a press release:
- CAL FIRE identified coordinates for the Camp Fire near a tower on PG&E’s Caribou-Palermo 115 kV Transmission Line and identified the start time as 6:33 a.m. on November 8, 2018
- At approximately 6:15 a.m. that morning, the Caribou-Palermo 115 kV transmission line relayed and deenergized.
- Approximately 15 minutes later, a PG&E employee observed fire in the vicinity of the tower and reported it to 911
- Later that day, an aerial patrol identified that a suspension insulator had separated from an arm on the tower
- A few days later, the company observed a broken C-hook that had connected the insulator, wear at the connection point, and a flash mark on the tower
A lawsuit seeks from PG&E money to make you whole for the loss of your home, trees, property or belongings, medical bills, evacuation and temporary housing costs, emotional trauma and more. It doesn’t matter whether you have insurance because insurance alone won’t make you completely whole.
✓No Other Firm Has More Experience Suing PG&E.
Our first case against PG&E was nearly 30 years ago. We know PG&E’s playbook and we use that unique knowledge to benefit our clients.
✓We have succeeded in trial against PG&E.
Our lead trial lawyer, Mike Danko, is the only lawyer in Northern California to have taken a case of this type all the way through to trial and verdict against PG&E. Since then, PG&E has offered settlements to our clients in many cases during or just before the start of trial. PG&E knows we are ready, willing and able to take a case to trial, and that approach helps us achieve the best results for our clients.
✓Appointed by judges to lead legal battles against PG&E.
We have been appointed by judges to leadership positions in large-scale cases against PG&E, including the 2017 North Bay Fires cases, the 2015 Butte Fire cases, and the 2010 San Bruno Explosion cases. Judges trust us to represent the best interests of fire & disaster victims.
Our team of Butte Camp Fire Attorneys have been featured and our lawsuit against PG&E has been chronicled in major national and California news publications:
- Mike Danko in San Francisco Chronicle: “At some point there has to be accountability.”
- Amanda Riddle on ABC10: “They were leading people to a false sense of security.”
- Kristine Meredith on Fox40: “What’s so troubling to us [about the fires] is not only does it not change, it gets worse each time.”
- Dario de Ghetaldi in Mercury News: “PG&E needs to stop blowing up and burning down California.”
According to an article by the Chico Enterprise-Record, downed PG&E power lines may have sparked the Camp Fire per firefighter radio transmissions reviewed by Bay Area News Group. The article reports that at about 6:33 a.m. on November 8, 2018, firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire “under the high tension power lines” across the Feather River from Poe Dam, where CAL FIRE officials have identified as the fire’s origin on the agency’s incident page.
The article quotes one firefighter who told dispatch “We’ve got eyes on the vegetation fire. It’s going to be very difficult to access, Camp Creek Road is nearly inaccessible. It is on the west side of the river underneath the transmission line.” A dispatcher also alerted responding crews that “[t]here’s a possible power line hazard” per the article, and trucks arriving to the fire acknowledged “Copy, power lines down.”
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports that PG&E had announced it might shut down power to parts of Butte County on Thursday, but it chose not to do so. The article quotes Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean who emphasized that the cause is under investigation, but that the probe would include “electrical equipment.”
Northern California Fire Lawyers is a coalition of prominent Northern California law firms: Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle, Danko Meredith, and Gibbs Law Group. Our firms consist of seasoned trial lawyers, leading national personal injury attorneys, and experienced complex litigators. Attorneys on our team have been appointed by California judges to serve in leadership positions in a number of large, coordinated fire and disaster cases. We bring a deep knowledge of the systems and fire-prevention policies of major utility companies and are well-positioned to leverage the hard work from our previous cases to benefit our clients.
San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association
Eric Gibbs (sole plaintiffs’ lawyer recognized nationwide)
Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California
Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California
Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California
Martindale-Hubbell – highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills
Through our experience representing victims of California fires, we’ve seen first hand how challenging it can be to live through a fire. We plan to hold upcoming community informational meetings concerning potential resources.
We are constantly updating our page with links to resources below: