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PG&E Hit With Class Action Over Camp Fire (1)

Dec. 6, 2018, 4:16 PMUpdated: Dec. 6, 2018, 5:07 PM

PG&E‘s negligent maintenance of its electrical infrastructure caused devastating property damage and economic loss to tens of thousands of victims of the Camp Fire, a class action filed Dec. 5 alleges.

The fire burned for 17 days over 150,000 acres of Northern California, damaging or destroying more than 14,000 homes and causing at least 88 deaths, the suit says.

The suit, filed in the California Superior Court for the County of San Francisco, alleges PG&E “knew that its infrastructure was aging, unsafe, and vulnerable to weather and environmental conditions.”

But it “failed to take preventative measures in the face of known high-risk weather conditions,” the suit says. That failure “ultimately resulted in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.”

PG&E spokesperson Kristi Jourdan told Bloomberg Law the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“We are aware of lawsuits regarding the Camp Fire,” Jourdan said. “Right now, our focus is on assessing infrastructure, safely restoring power where possible, and helping our customers recover and rebuild.”

Another suit making similar allegations was filed against PG&E Nov. 30 by Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel LLP, Eric Ratinoff in Sacramento, Calif., and Robert W. Jackson in Fallbrook, Calif. The suit has several named plaintiffs but doesn’t make class claims.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP and Edelson P.C. represent the plaintiffs.

The case is Burnett v. PG&E Corp., Cal. Super. Ct., No. 18-571849, filed 12/5/18.

(Updated with comment from PG&E.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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