Authored By: Alicia Lammers
Victims of the California fires filed a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The victims are those impacted by the Camp Fire in Northern California, who claim the Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is responsible for sparking the deadly blaze that killed at least 77 people and destroyed more than 11,000 homes.
The lawsuit was filed Friday, November 16, in Butte County superior court by two law firms alleging that PG&E has a history of disregarding safety regulations to maximize corporate profits.
Attorneys are asking that PG&E pay victims for loss of property and other costs related to the fire.
The lawsuit alleges the company has failed in the past to trim trees near power lines or proactively shut off power in hazardous fire conditions, and that the fire was preventable. The lawsuit also mentions radio transmission recordings of firefighters discussing a transmission line near where the Camp Fire started.
PG&E previously notified 70,000 customers that the utility may shut power off due to dangerous fire conditions, but no proactive power shut-offs were initiated. The lawsuit also claims the company was negligent in failing to de-energize power lines in fire-prone conditions.
One of the plaintiff attorneys urged people affected by the fire to report their claims against PG&E.
A representative for the company said they are aware of the lawsuits regarding the fire.
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our highest priority,” said spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo in an emailed statement. “It’s important to remember that the cause of the Camp fire has yet to be determined. Right now, our primary focus is on supporting first responders and positioning our employees to assess damage, restore service and rebuild infrastructure, and helping our communities.”
Officials have not yet announced findings on how the fire was started. If PG&E were found responsible for the fire, its liability would exceed its insurance coverage.
Photo Credit: Akhararat Wathanasing