California Wildfire Lawsuits
ROBINSON CALCAGNIE INVESTIGATING DEADLY CALIFORNIA CAMP FIRE AND WOOLSEY WILDFIRES
Robinson Calcagnie, Inc., one of the nation’s leading personal injury law firms, is currently investigating the devastating Camp Fire, Woolsey, and other wildfires that have besieged Northern and Southern California, displacing hundreds of thousands of residents, destroying thousands of homes, and burning hundreds of thousands of acres, after initial reports suggest that California’s two largest utility companies, PG&E and Southern California Edison, may be to blame.
11/27/18 UPDATE: Judge in San Bruno criminal case demands answers from PG&E on cause of Camp Fire
A federal judge overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation from the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion is demanding answers from the utility about its potential role in the Camp Fire or other major wildfires.
In a written order, U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco told PG&E to explain whether “reckless operation or maintenance of PG&E power lines” started a wildfire — and whether that might constitute a violation of the terms of the utility’s probation. PG&E was found guilty in federal court of obstruction of justice and other charges in connection with the 2010 San Bruno disaster, which killed eight people and injured 58 others. At sentencing in January 2017, the utility was placed on five years’ probation, fined $3 million and ordered to perform thousands of hours of community service.
The probation sentence included a prohibition against committing further crimes. Aside from the criminal case, the San Bruno catastrophe was a major crisis for PG&E. The utility was fined $1.6 billion by regulators and paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in civil settlements. Alsup told the utility to provide “an accurate and complete statement of the role, if any, of PG&E in causing and reporting the recent Camp Fire in Butte County and all other wildfires in California” since PG&E was placed on probation in January 2017.
PG&E has disclosed to regulators that a transmission line, located near the spot where the Camp Fire ignited, experienced a problem a few minutes before the fire was reported early Nov. 8. Cal Fire continues to investigate the cause of the blaze, which has killed at least 88 people.
BY DALE KASLER email@example.com
On November 8, 2018, a deadly fire was alleged to have started by PG&E electric lines and equipment. The Camp Fire in Butte County is now the deadliest fire in California state history with over 70 people confirmed dead, 3 firefighters injured and more than 1000 still missing. It is also reported that that the fire is being declared the most destructive individual fire in modern California history, burning more than 135,000 acres and destroying more than 8,817 structures, most of them residences.
As of Tuesday, November 13, 2018, Cal Fire reported that the Camp Fire was 35 percent contained. Sen. Jerry Hill, a Redwood City Democrat and longtime critic of PG&E, called the report of troubles on PG&E’s lines in the area extremely worrisome. “At some point we have to say enough is enough and we have to ask: Should this company be allowed to do business in California?” Hill said. “These fires take a spark, and at least in the last few years fires have been caused by negligent behavior by PG&E. We need to see how we can hold them responsible or look at alternative way of doing business.” Hill said he was exploring legislative options to keep a closer check on PG&E, including the possibility of breaking up the utility. “They are a monopoly and they act as a monopoly,” Hill said. “That is a problem when the motive is profit, and that just may not be the right motive for providing utility services.”
Also, on November 8, 2018, another fire deadly fire erupted, the Woolsey Fire, which continues to devastate Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, has resulted in 2 fatalities, and 3 firefighters injured, burned more than 97,000 acres, and destroyed hundreds of buildings with approximately 57,000 buildings at risk of damage due to their proximity to the fire. The inferno tore through a 97,114-acre swath of Ventura and Los Angeles counties from Bell Canyon to the Pacific Ocean, obliterating roughly 435 homes and businesses and devastating neighborhoods. The fire has burned about 150 square miles, including about 83% of national park land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a stunning loss of a cherished open space for Southern California. “To put that in perspective, that is the size of Denver,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Deputy David Richardson said of the fire’s footprint. As of Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Cal Fire reported that the Woolsey Fire was 47 percent contained.
It has also been reported that the Hill Fire in Ventura County has engulfed more than 4,500 acres and is 90 percent contained, the Nurse Fire in Solano County has burned 1,500 acres and is 90 percent contained, and the Brushy Fire in Mendocino County has burned 35 acres but remains only 50 percent contained.
The California Public Utilities Commission in coordination with the state Cal Fire agency has launched investigations into Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (So Cal Edison) after both companies reported that their electrical infrastructure suffered malfunctions near the origin points of the Camp Fire in Northern California and Woolsey Fire in Southern California.
PG&E already faces billions in potential liability for its alleged negligence which led to the start of the destructive wildfires in October 2017 in Northern California. So Cal Edison also recently admitted in an October 2018 report that it believes its electrical equipment was associated with the ignition of the deadly 2017 Thomas Fire that ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Robinson Calcagnie is currently actively litigating these cases and are involved in both the North Bay Fire cases (In Re: California North Bay Fire Cases, JCCP No. 4955) as well as the Southern California Thomas Fire cases (In Re: Southern California Fire cases, JCCP No. 4965).
Thousands of California residents have been devastated by these fires and our experienced attorneys are actively investigating the cause of the Camp and Woolsey Fires, as well as the Hill, Nurse and Brushy Fires. If corporate negligence by PG&E or So Cal Edison is determined to be the cause of the deadly fires, our team of skilled advocates will work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Those who have suffered losses may be entitled to recover money as compensation for their damages, which may include:
- Wrongful death
- Bodily injury
- Loss of a home and/or adjacent structure
- Loss of personal property
- Loss of a business structure
- Loss of agricultural property and products
- Loss of business or agricultural income
- Loss of trees or surrounding vegetation/agriculture
Our attorneys have been protecting rights for over 40 years. If you are a homeowner or a business owner who has lost property or suffered other damages in the fires, please contact our firm today to discuss your claim and potential legal options. We provide all consultations at no cost and should you elect to retain Robinson Calcagnie to represent you, we would do so under a contingent fee arrangement, meaning you would not pay any attorney’s fees, court costs, or litigation expenses out of pocket. Instead, our fees and costs would be recovered only as a portion of any favorable settlement or judgment we obtain on your behalf.