Panish Shea & Boyle LLP Investigating & Preparing to Prosecute Claims Against PG&E as Cause of Deadly Camp Fire in Butte County
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 14, 2018--Panish Shea & Boyle LLP has begun the process of investigating and prosecuting claims against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) that has led to the deaths of at least 48 people, more than 100 people missing, and destroyed over 7,800 homes and structures as a result of the Camp Fire. To date, the fire has burned over 135,000 acres, displacing tens-of-thousands of Butte County residents and devastating the Northern California town of Paradise. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has stated it is looking into the possibility that the fire was sparked by electrical equipment owned and operated by Pacific Gas & Electric.
“Time and time again, PG&E has demonstrated a diminished standard of care by failing to properly maintain equipment and adequately cut back trees from existing power lines,” said attorney Brian Panish. “It should come as no surprise to anyone – including PG&E and its shareholders – that the utility is under suspicion for sparking the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history less than 48 hours after ignition.”
Attorney Rahul Ravipudi added, “The consequence of PG&E’s repeated negligence is catastrophic loss of life and property, but even that hasn’t halted the utility company from its unconscionable and deadly practices. These are foreseeable and preventable risks. How many more people have to die before Pacific Gas & Electric adheres to its own safety guidelines and puts the people above its own profits?”
On the morning the Camp Fire began, PG&E experienced an equipment issue and utility officials filed an initial Electric Safety Incident Report with the Safety and Enforcement Division of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) noting one of its high-voltage power lines -- the Caribou-Palermo 115 kV Transmission line in Butte County on Pulga Rd. – experienced an outage approximately one mile north-east and roughly 20 minutes before the Camp Fire was reported in the rural area.
In the days leading up to the fire, PG&E had notified customers that it would potentially implement a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to expected extreme fire danger conditions as part of its Community Wildfire Safety Program -- cutting off power to customers in eight counties as a preventive measure, including Butte County customers in the cities of Chico, Oroville and Paradise. On the morning the Camp Fire began, the utility determined that it would not proceed with plans for a Public Safety Power Shutoff as “weather conditions did not warrant this safety measure.”
PG&E has a history of noncompliance with state law by failing to do its due diligence to reduce the potential risk of wildfire. In June 2018, CAL FIRE determined 12 wildfires that swept through California’s Wine County in October 2017 were caused by PG&E electric power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles associated with the utility. Investigators referred eight of the 12 North Bay Fires, including the Adobe, Atlas, Blue, Norrbom, Partrick, Pocket, Pythian and Sulphur fires, to the appropriate county District Attorney’s offices for further review due to alleged violations of state law. Two weeks prior, CAL FIRE had also determined that four fires in Butte and Nevada counties were caused by trees coming into contact with PG&E power lines.
While the process will be long in recovering compensation for damages sustained as a result of the Camp Fire, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP has the resources to see the matter to conclusion. The firm has experience in representing thousands of victims against utility companies such as Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) who have been harmed as a result of utility company negligence. Firm attorneys currently serve as Individual Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel against SCE in the Southern California Fire Cases resulting from the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows in Montecito, California; Plaintiffs Co-Lead Trial Counsel against SoCalGas as a result of the largest methane gas well blowout at Aliso Canyon in Porter Ranch, California; and on the Executive Committee in the North Bay Fires litigation against PG&E as a result of the 2017 firestorm in California’s Wine Country.
For legal help, contact Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys at (866) 828-6421 to schedule a free consultation or visit campfirevictimlawsuit.com
About Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm that takes on large corporations and government entities whose negligence causes our clients injury, and holds them accountable. In addition to obtaining the largest personally injury verdict in U.S. history ($4.9 billion against General Motors), firm attorneys have consistently obtained some of the largest verdicts against a utility including a $41.8 million verdict and subsequent $46 million settlement in October 2018 against SoCalGas for an U.S. Air Force captain struck by a utility truck while on his motorcycle, a $19.8 million jury verdict in 2014 to a man who suffered severe burn and traumatic brain injuries when his rental home exploded as a result of a Southern California Gas Company’s negligence and a $15 million jury verdict in 2008 against SoCalGas for a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a company truck. Panish Shea & Boyle LLP also represented numerous plaintiffs in the 2010 San Bruno Gas explosion cases against PG&E.
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CONTACT: Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES INSURANCE LEGAL
SOURCE: Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Copyright Business Wire 2018.
PUB: 11/14/2018 08:35 PM/DISC: 11/14/2018 08:35 PM