PG&E has been in the news a lot lately and the latest update is that Butte County has decided to file a lawsuit against the mega power company. Regardless of the talks of PG&E and it’s plans to file for bankruptcy, the county feels that PG&E needs to be held accountable for its faulty equipment and should pay for destroyed property and lost wages.
The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, January 15, to “demonstrate to the public that we’re moving forward after this horrendous occurrence in Butte County,” Butte County counsel Bruce Alpert said. “We’re seeking the make the taxpayers of Butte County whole with respect to all of the costs and damages.”
The Camp Fire, which started on November 8, 2018, killed 86 people, destroyed nearly 15,000 homes, and “effectively eradicated” the city of Paradise. According to county officials, the general purpose of this lawsuit is to get funding to replace or repair damaged property and to make up for lost wages and business profits. Additionally, the county wishes to hold PG&E accountable for their faulty power equipment. “PG&E has told state regulators about issues with its equipment near one of the places the fire sparked,” explains CBS Sacramento, “The lawsuit says PG&E was negligent in operating its equipment and managing vegetation near its transmission and distribution lines. It also hits the company for failing to turn off power during weather conditions of high fire risk on the morning of the blaze.”
While no monetary amount was listed on the Butte County lawsuit, disaster analyst Chris Folkman estimates that it would cost between $7.5 to $10 billion to rebuild Paradise based on reported insurance losses.
So what does the future hold for PG&E, the current and former residents of Butte County, and the millions of PG&E customers? That’s an answer that will only play out with time as this dramatic story progresses in the upcoming weeks, months, and yes, years.