Authored By: Ollie Lammers
According to Business Insider, California prosecutors are considering charging Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) with an array of crimes including murder and manslaughter.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stated in a new court filing that if PG&E is found to have mismanaged or failed to maintain power lines, the company would face a wide range of charges. These charges would include minor offenses, felonies, misdemeanors, as well as implied-malice murder, and involuntary manslaughter.
According to CNN, “the brief was filed in response to a request by US District Court Judge William Alsup that officials explain what crimes PG&E might potentially have committed if it were ultimately found responsible for the wildfires.”
In November 2018, Judge William Aslup ordered the company to explain any potential role it could have in starting the wildfires. This order came after the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it “experienced an outage” on a transmission line in Butte County about 15 minutes before the Camp Fire broke out on November 8.
According to NBC News, Judge Aslup is overseeing a sentence for the company in a separate case from 2010 due to a natural gas pipeline explosion.
Prosecutors said an investigation in the company’s operations, maintenance, and safety practices will be needed in order to determine if they can be charged with manslaughter.