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California Fires Tied to Electric Companies

CA Fires and the Devastation they Caused – What They Knew, When They Knew It

Over the past few years, the State of California has been ravaged by fire. Nearly 9,000 wildfires were reported alone in 2017 and wiped out over 1.2 million acres of land (which is approximately the size of Delaware), destroyed more than 10,800 structures, and killed at least 46 people. The recent Camp Fire in Butte County was also named the largest and deadliest fire in California history. If you or someone you know what impacted by these devastating fires, then you may be eligible for financial compensation.

What They Knew

PG&E and Southern California Edison are responsible for providing electricity in California, but are they also responsible for the annihilation of land, homes and lives who fell victim to these fires? Consider these facts:

Camp Fire The Camp Fire located in Butte County started on November 8 and as of November 13, 6,522 residential structures and 260 commercial buildings have been destroyed, 120,000 acres have been burned, hundreds have been reported missing, and 42 people have lost their lives. These harrowing numbers have made this the largest and deadliest fire in California history. It has also been confirmed that PG&E filed a report with the California Public Utilities Commission saying that a power outage was recorded on its 115-kilovolt Caribou-Palermo line at 6:15 a.m. on November 8. Cal Fire says the blaze started at 6:29 a.m. and that the origins of the fire occurred near to the location where the firefighters first encountered the flames.

Butte Fire – Cal Fire confirmed on September 16, 2015 that contact between a live tree and a PG&E power line sparked the Butte Fire. This caused the death of two residents, burnt more than 110 square miles of watersheds, and destroyed 549 homes, 368 outbuildings and four commercial structures costing over $90 million in firefighting costs.

Tubbs Fire – On October 8, 2017, the Tubbs Fire started in Santa Rosa, CA and ended up obilterating 142 square miles of Sonoma County, killing at least 23 people and destroying close to 7,000 private homes. But here’s what’s shocking: before the first spark of the fire, PG&E reported 20 cases of toppled trees and downed power lines across Northern California. Cal Fire investigators have even collected as evidence damaged power poles, wires and additional pieces of faulty equipment from 8 of 10 sites where PG&E reported “electrical safety incidents” in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Thomas Fires – The Thomas Fire occurred between Dec. 4, 2017 to Jan. 12 and was the biggest blaze in state history. It was located in both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and scorched 281,893 acres, destroyed 1,063 structures and cost a record-breaking $229 million. Many are contending that Southern California Edison (SCE) is responsible because of a construction project that they were working on near a Comcast satellite facility in Santa Paula where the fire was reported to have begun. It is believed that the construction ignited the surrounding dry brush which quickly spread to the surrounding areas.

When They Knew It

Many contend that PG&E knew ahead of time that their equipment was faulty or could be compromised by surrounding foliage since they submitted multiple reports on their field findings. Additionally, SCE is considered to be at fault for the Southern California fires since their construction work is suspected to have ignited nearby dry debris. The City of Ventura and Casitas Municipal Water District are also in question due to the lack of water pressure delivered to fire hydrants which hindered firefighters’ ability to save homes.

What Can You Do?

It is suspected that PG&E knew that their equipment was not in proper working condition and that SCE’s construction site was at the center of the Thomas Fire. If your property was damaged or destroyed by one of the above fires, then you may be able to make a claim for financial compensation. You have inevitably lost priceless memories and your important possessions, and these companies should pay for their negligence. Contact us today to see if we can help you to make a claim.

California Fire Warnings In The News

BREAKING (5/15/19): PG&E caused Camp Fire, Cal Fire says

The deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, which killed 85 people and wiped out almost an entire town of 27,000, was caused by PG&E power equipment, state officials announced Wednesday.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. had admitted months ago that one of its transmission lines probably sparked the Camp Fire in rural Butte County. But the announcement by state fire investigators removes any doubt.

Read Full Article

BREAKING (5/15/19): PG&E caused Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise and killed 85, Cal Fire says

 

It’s official. Pacific Gas & Electric caused the Camp Fire.

State fire officials announced Wednesday a six-month investigation has determined what many already thought: PG&E power lines in the high hills of Butte County ignited the devastating blaze that destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings and killed 85 people, almost all in one frantic November day.

Read Full Article

 

BREAKING (5/14/19): San Francisco May Make PG&E a Multibillion-Dollar Offer in Weeks

San Francisco may make a multibillion-dollar bid within months for some assets owned by California power giant PG&E Corp.

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3/7/19: PG&E Finally Admits Their Equipment May Have Caused Camp Fire

PG&E just announced that their equipment probably caused the Camp Fire. What does this admission to the survivors who lost everything? Read Full Article

2/20/19: PG&E’s Stock Triples After Camp Fire: What Fire Survivors Need to Know

Will PG&E go out of business? Can they afford to pay those who file a claim? Will PG&E rates increase? How do I file a claim? Find these answers and more here.

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11/14/18: California Experiences Deadliest and Largest Fire in State History

 

 

Once again fires have ravaged California’s forests and have left a multitude of residents displaced. Acres have been destroyed, there is just a charred footprint where thousands of homes once existed, and residents are shocked and wondering how will they ever pick up the pieces to their now broken lives. And for the fourth time in 12 months, faulty electrical equipment has been linked to the devastation.

Read Full Article

 

 

 

6/15/18: PG&E Faulty Equipment Blamed for California Fires

 

 

The end of 2017 was a difficult time for many Californians as fire ravaged thousands of homes and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Many months later, ash and rubble continue to mar hundreds of thousands of acres of land and countless people are still trying to rebuild their lives. On June 8, 2018, CAL FIRE officially announced that the 12 Northern California wildfires, which started towards the end of October 2017, were “caused by electric power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles” which puts the blame fully in the hands of the state’s largest utility company, PG&E.

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1/4/18: The Grim Scope of 2017’s California Wildfire Season Is Now Clear. The Danger’s Not Over.

 

 

The wildfires that raced across California in 2017 caused historic levels of death and destruction. Nearly 9,000 wildfires tore through the state, burning 1.2 million acres of land (an area the size of Delaware or the Larsen C iceberg), destroying more than 10,800 structures and killing at least 46 people.

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11/1/17: New PG&E Reports Show Equipment Problems Near Origins of Northern California Fires

State regulators released reports from PG&E this week that document at least 20 cases of toppled trees and downed power lines across Northern California the night of Oct. 8 as strong winds buffeted the region and drought-parched vegetation ignited in quick succession from Sonoma to Butte counties, resulting in a series of deadly and destructive wildfires.

Read Full Article

12/26/17: the Wildfires in California Just Keep Shattering Records This Year

The catastrophic wildfires of 2017 didn’t just destroy neighborhoods and livelihoods — they also annihilated records. And the destruction’s not over. The Thomas Fire, which has torched the equivalent of Dallas and Miami combined, is still raging in Southern California. Here’s a look at the records obliterated by the 2017 wildfires…

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Filed California Fires Complaints & Damages

2/28/18: Sweeney et al vs. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)

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How to File for Financial Settlement After Injury from an Unsafe Drug or Device

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LATEST ARTICLES

No Testing, Fast Approval, Injured Patients: Is the FDA Finally Listening to Mesh Survivors?

Dr. Chris DeArmitt, who is a consultant to the top technology firms in America, told Sky News: “I see an absolute disregard for proper testing. Testing is way less than you would see on a vacuum cleaner or a washing machine. It’s shocking. I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”

No Testing, Fast Approval, Injured Patients: Is the FDA Finally Listening to Mesh Survivors?

You might be wondering “Testing for what?” You would probably be shocked to find out that “more than 90 percent of medical devices do not require proof that they have been clinically tested and found to be safe and effective prior to FDA clearance for distribution or sale,” shares Consumers Union project director Lisa McGiffert in an article from the Fowler Tribune.

This loophole in the FDA is called the 510(k) process and it has allowed millions of patients to be irreparably harmed – and even killed – by the very device that was intended to help them. Now after several decades of patient injuries, billions of dollars being fought over in court, and countless devices being pulled from market (too little, too late, we might add), the FDA is only now looking into changing this horrific flaw in their system.

What is the FDA’s 510(k) Process?

The FDA’s 510(k) process allows medical devices companies to quickly fast-track a product to market based on a pre-approved product. This idea came about decades ago with the purpose to promote innovation but has instead become a way for big companies to slip their products to market for high profits while avoiding expensive testing. This has caused several inexcusable problems to arise. Here’s one tragic example: 

Transvaginal Mesh

A medical device can be approved for market based on a previous model, even one that was recalled. This is what happened in the huge debacle involving vaginal mesh. Protegen was the first vaginal mesh product on the market, but was recalled due to patient harm. However, even after it was pulled, dozens of additional mesh devices were sold and implanted in patients based on this poor design. Currently, hundreds of thousands of women are suffering from mesh and many will have to live with chronic pain, the impossibility of holding down a job, and the inability to have sex with their partners for the rest of their lives. 

But this story includes many more products beyond vaginal mesh-like IVC filters to prevent blood clots, Essure female sterilization devices, hip replacement products, and countless others.  The New York Times reports that these fast-tracked devices have caused 80,000 deaths and more than two million injuries.

Change is in the Air 

Fortunately, with documentaries like The Bleeding Edge, social media groups criticizing the FDA’s process, and advocacy groups, the FDA is reevaluating how it approves devices for market. According to the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network,

“For premarket review of 510(k) devices, on February 1, 2019, the FDA released a Final Guidance Document for the ‘Safety and Performance Based Pathway.’ This optional pathway consists of using criteria that involve conformance to FDA-recognized consensus standards, FDA guidance, and/or special controls. It enables 510(k) clearance for certain medical devices if the device meets these specific criteria, which should include safety and effectiveness (as opposed to the often ill-defined ‘substantial equivalence’ to predicate devices). The decision to use this new pathway is determined by manufacturers, although the FDA can disagree with this determination.”

While this is a step in the right direction by requiring device companies to prove safety and effectiveness, many think that these changes don’t go far enough towards protecting patient health. For instance, JAMA suggests that “legislation should mandate that 510(k) devices show improved safety and effectiveness compared with marketed devices for the same clinical purpose, using meaningful clinical criteria to gain clearance. Although these criteria will differ based on the intended use of the device, all criteria should be based on patient-oriented clinical outcomes.”

Additionally, once a product is approved for market, many times the post-market surveillance falls to the wayside. Medical devices should have a registry so that patients can know what devices are implanted in them, doctors can properly treat problems that may arise, and companies can monitor their products more effectively. Car parts are meticulously tracked, shouldn’t medical devices be all the more!?!

Too Little, Too Late

It’s great that the FDA is reviewing it’s 510(k) process that has been grossly overused and under monitored for decades, but what about those who have already been harmed by an agency that favored billion-dollar medical device companies over the health and wellness of patients?

One way that this FDA change was brought about was through the voices and bravery of those who were injured by these faulty medical devices. If you or a loved one had vaginal mesh and had corrective surgery, your voice needs to be heard. Please call Periscope Group today at (800) 511-3838. It’s time to hold medical device companies accountable for the unbearable pain they caused you. We want to hear your story and we want to help you if we can.

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Sources
“Vaginal mesh: Tests on plastic material ‘way less’ thorough than on washing machine”. Sky News. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://news.sky.com/story/vaginal-mesh-tests-on-plastic-material-way-less-thorough-than-on-washing-machine-11772530?fbclid=IwAR0ieT27Sh1V8q53Vt7y3BH2PK1M9akqoLCAFvnf1JskMeAOu10yvzgEi20
“Moving From Substantial Equivalence to Substantial Improvement for 510(k) Devices”. JAMA Network. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2744408?fbclid=IwAR04Fkrn-A1NbJDUkuOOOU-EhA55G5kkXUYJWGIb8y-MftOdFTQ0hrk_Bl0
“Medical Device Testing: Too Much, or Not Enough?” ADMET. Accessed August 5, 2019. https://www.admet.com/medical-device-testing-too-much-or-not-enough/

Can Talcum Powder Really Cause Mesothelioma?

For many years there has been speculation concerning whether Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer. Many cases have gone to court, and in July 2018, J&J was required to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who blamed the talc-based product for causing their ovarian cancer. 2019 isn’t looking any better for J&J as they are expected to face almost three times as many trials involving their baby powder. However, there’s a bit of a spin on a few of these cases: instead of the plaintiff’s alleging that baby powder caused ovarian cancer, some plaintiffs are going after the billion-dollar company with accusations that their mesothelioma diagnosis is linked to baby powder use from decades ago. Is there merit to this claim?

Can Talcum Powder Really Cause Mesothelioma?

What is Mesothelioma?

“Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testes. The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is asbestos, though there are other potential risk factors. Due to a long latency period, symptoms may take 10 – 50 years to develop after exposure,” explains Mesothelioma.com. 

What makes mesothelioma especially tragic is that it’s usually discovered in an advanced stage causing there to be few options for treatment. Medical professionals will do their best to help the patient to be comfortable, but traditional go-to’s like surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy offer only minimal hope to extend life expectancy. However, each person is different so it’s critical to discuss these options, along with alternative treatments and possible outcomes, with your doctors.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is only caused by asbestos. Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring minerals that have been used for decades for its abilities to resist fire, insulate buildings, it’s anti-corrosion properties and more. By the 1970s, however, asbestos became a hot topic in the news for the health hazards it created.  

So what does asbestos have to do with baby powder?

Asbestos and talc are often formed in nature near each other. Talc is a silicate made up mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Asbestos is also a group of silicate minerals that share the same fibrous nature. Both are extremely soft and can be broken down into microscopic pieces.

Between the 1950s and 1970s, studies were conducted which found that baby powder samples were contaminated with asbestos. By the end of the 1970s, the demand for asbestos peaked with 25 countries producing nearly 4.8 million metric tons annually. Nonetheless, asbestos was banned in many countries because of the health risks that it caused including mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma occurs when microscopic fibers of asbestos get inhaled into the lungs. These particles settle into the lung’s lining and can’t be removed. Over many years, the fibers can cause enough irritation and damage to cause lung cells to turn cancerous which is why diagnosis can take years and even decades.

Law360 explains the basis for this most recent case against J&J: “The trial, which began on July 15, involves claims that Will Ronning, Douglas Barden, David Etheridge and D’Angela McNeill-George were exposed to asbestos in the baby powder when they were babies, which caused their terminal cancer.”

Seem far fetched? Consider these findings from a 2014 study conducted by a group of scientists in New York: 

  • “Through many applications of this particular brand of talcum powder, the deceased inhaled asbestos fibers, which then accumulated in her lungs and likely caused or contributed to her mesothelioma as well as other women with the same scenario.”
  • “Initial bulk analyses of 50 samples of this product in Laboratory A showed that all of the samples contained asbestos fibers. Eighty percent contained only anthophyllite asbestos, 8% only tremolite asbestos, 8% anthophyllite and tremolite asbestos and 4% anthophyllite, tremolite, and chrysotile asbestos.”
  • “We have traced the asbestos in the talc to the mines from which it originated, into the milled grades, into the product, and finally into the lung and lymph nodes of the users of those products, including one woman who developed mesothelioma.” 

Johnson & Johnson’s Responsibility

“We do not have any organized program to settle Johnson’s baby powder cases, nor are we planning a settlement program,” Ernie W. Knewitz, a company spokesman, said in an emailed statement in the Los Angeles Times. “Rather, we will continue to vigorously defend the safety of Johnson’s baby powder in the courtroom.”

“In 2019, there are at least 21 trials on court calendars targeting J&J over tainted talc, including more than 15 in California’s courts and one in Georgia set to start in March,” states the Los Angeles Times.

Prop 65 Cancer Warning Label

The current warning label for Johnson’s Baby Powder states: “WARNING: Keep powder away from child’s face to avoid inhalation, which can cause breathing problems. Avoid contact with the eyes. For external use only.”

J&J continues to deny the results of many studies and the claims of thousands of plaintiffs that their product creates an increased risk of cancer. In fact, there may be a potential trial in California over whether or not J&J’s Baby Powder should carry a Prop 65 warning label on its bottle to provide “a ‘clear and reasonable’ warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical” which may cause cancer.

Should baby powder have a warning label for cancer? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment on our Facebook page or share on social media (links below) with your input.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, please call Periscope Group today at (800) 511-3838. We want to hear your story and help in any way that we can.  

 

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Sources
“J&J Tried To Invade Atty Privilege In Talc Case, Judge Told.” Law 360. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.law360.com/articles/1183789/j-j-tried-to-invade-atty-privilege-in-talc-case-judge-told
“Talcum Powder as a Cause of Mesothelioma?” Mesothelioma.com. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/talcum-powder-as-a-cause-of-mesothelioma/
“Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder risk expands: It faces triple the cancer trials in 2019”. The Los Angeles Times. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-johnsons-baby-powder-20181225-story.html
“Mesothelioma”. Mayo Clinic. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375028
“What Is Asbestos?”. Asbestos.com. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/
“J&J Would Rather Fight a Cancer-Warning Lawsuit Than Let It Drop”. Bloomberg. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-27/j-j-would-rather-fight-a-cancer-warning-lawsuit-than-let-it-drop

“Asbestos in commercial cosmetic talcum powder as a cause of mesothelioma in women”. NCBI. Accessed August 1, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164883/

Xeljanz and Risk of Amputation: What You Need to Know

One of the most despicable things about Big Pharma is when they know that a drug or medical device could cause a terrible health complication, and yet they fail to warn patients of this potentially life-changing problem. This is what’s happening in a current trial involving 68-year-old Arkansas resident Marilyn Stube. She took Xeljanz for four years to help her rheumatoid arthritis and ended up having both arms and legs amputated due to sepsis. Pfizer, the makers of Xeljanz, knew the risks but chose not to warn U.S. patients. 

Xeljanz and Risk of Amputation: What You Need to Know

What is Xeljanz?

Xeljanz is a relatively new medication that was introduced to the market in 2012 to address rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There are a variety of drug options available for RA, but Xeljanz works in a different way because it “is an anti-JAK, or Janus kinase inhibitor, which targets a specific cellular process that is involved in the immune response and resulting inflammation in RA. Xeljanz is the first drug of its kind,” explains Healthline. 

Xeljanz was intended to be prescribed for patients who didn’t respond to the existing drug options available for RA. However, while all medications have a risk of specific adverse effects, Xeljanz was found to have the potential to cause more serious risks that caused many doctors to decline to prescribe it to their patients.

Warning Signs

When Xeljanz was first approved to be sold in the U.S. by the FDA, the European Medicines Agency, Europe’s version of the FDA, rejected it. The European authorities deemed that this medication came with higher risks than the other available RA drugs on the market. Some of these complications could include severe infections, liver damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, and an increased risk of cancer. And it doesn’t just have the basic warnings that are spoken really fast at the end of a television commercial; Xeljanz has a black box warning – the highest warning given by the FDA – about how it can hinder the immune system causing major infections.

Hiding the Facts

If these dangerous complications weren’t scary enough, Pfizer failed to tell U.S. patients about the possibility of sepsis, a potentially fatal condition in which the patient is fighting a severe infection that has spread throughout the body. If a patient becomes ‘septic,’ they will likely have low blood pressure leading to poor circulation which can harm vital tissues and organs.

This is what happened in the case of Marilyn Stube. “After taking Xeljanz for four years for her rheumatoid arthritis, she started feeling pain, then fever, nausea and other symptoms in March 2017. In April of that year, she was diagnosed with septic shock, multi-organ failure, gangrene and Group A Streptococcus, requiring that she have both arms and both legs amputated at Baylor University Medical Center,” according to the complaint filed in the Western District of Arkansas.

On Xeljanz’s labels outside the U.S., they warn of the potential for sepsis which clearly shows that the company knew about the risk and hid this important fact from the American public. According to Law360, “Stube’s physician has signed a sworn declaration that he would never have prescribed Xeljanz for her if he’d known of the risk of sepsis and other ailments, saying he was relying on Pfizer’s product literature in deciding what medication was safest for Stube’s treatment.”

If you or a loved one are taking Xeljanz, it’s important to discuss the benefits and risks of your unique situation with a medical professional to determine the best medication for your condition. It’s also critical to know the potential adverse effects of each medication that you are taking so that you can know the warning signs; the quicker you can get medical care, the more likely you are to avoid severe complications.

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Sources
“Pfizer Hid Risks Of Sepsis, Amputation On Labels, Suit Says”. Law360. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://www.law360.com/articles/1179862/pfizer-hid-risks-of-sepsis-amputation-on-labels-suit-says
“Another Look At Marketing Vs. R&D In Pharma”. Science Magazine. Accessed July 24, 2019. https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2013/05/23/another_look_at_marketing_vs_rd_in_pharma
“Xeljanz: A Blessing or a Curse for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients?”. Heathline. Accessed July 25, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/xeljanz-blessing-or-curse-for-ra-patients-100414#1
“Why was this RA med declared safe here, but not in the EU?”. Health Science Institute. Accessed July 25, 2019. https://hsionline.com/2014/08/18/european-medicines-agency/

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

Periscope Group is not owned by or operated on behalf of any attorney or law firm. We are not affiliated with any drug or medical device companies. We do not host advertisements nor do we accept advertising requests. We are here to help YOU, the consumer, become better educated and supported. You pay absolutely nothing for our help. It’s as simple as that.

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