The deadliest fire in California history, the Camp Fire, which destroyed the quaint town of Paradise, occurred on November 8, 2018. Within the week, news publications were reporting that there was “pretty overwhelming” evidence linking the start of the fire to faulty PG&E equipment. However, PG&E didn’t announce until last week that their equipment probably caused the fire and was an “ignition point.” Could their admission of guilt benefit the survivors of Paradise?
PG&E’s Suspected Role in the Camp Fire
As early at November 14, just six days after the fire started, CNBC reported that neighbors received emails reporting of the sparking electrical wires, there were witnesses who saw the fire start on the transmission line, and most importantly, PG&E filed a report to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) “reporting an outage minutes before the witnesses saw the fire start under the transmission lines.”
Want more evidence? “In a letter sent to the California Public Utilities Commission… Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said that a worker on Nov. 9 found bullet-riddled PG&E equipment and a felled power pole in Concow, and that days later another worker discovered branches on top of wires near Concow and Rim roads, an isolated crossroad leading up to Flea Mountain north of Concow where the Camp fire burned last month,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
PG&E’s CA Wildfire Liabilities
PG&E is currently being held accountable for up to $30 billion worth of liabilities for recent California wildfires. Bloomberg shares that, “Cal Fire investigators have found PG&E equipment responsible for at least 17 of the 21 major 2017 fires and referred 12 for possible criminal prosecution.” Additionally, investigators have attributed more than 1,500 fires to PG&E power lines and hardware between June 2014 and December 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Admitting guilt could mean a variety of consequences for PG&E. Late December the attorney general explained that if PG&E was found responsible, they could face any of four possible criminal violations:
- Failing to clear vegetation from a power line or pole (misdemeanor)
- Starting a wildfire (felony)
- Involuntary manslaughter (felony)
- Implied-malice murder (felony)
If you lost everything in the Camp Fire, it’s time to hold PG&E accountable. Even though the company has filed for bankruptcy, there is still financial compensation for Camp Fire survivors. Call Periscope Group today at (800) 511-3838. We want to help you if we can.