Gibbs Law Group, together with Danko Meredith and Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi and Riddle, a legal team known as Northern California Fire Lawyers, filed the first lawsuit against PG&E on behalf of victims of the Butte Camp Fire who lost homes, personal property or were injured during evacuation. The Butte Camp Fire Lawsuit accuses PG&E of negligence in failing to maintain and manage its power transmission lines, which ultimately caused the Camp Fire to ignite on Pulga Road near Paradise, California.
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CampFire Victims Have Important Legal Rights
Affected Paradise fire victims and Butte County fire victims have important legal rights during the lawsuit investigation. The steps and actions Camp Fire victims take in the immediate aftermath of the fire can affect their rights and ability to file claims going forward. Camp Fire survivors may have legal claims to compensation for property losses, serious injuries, and other damages. Fill out the form to the right for a free legal consultation to ensure your rights are protected.
Downed Power Lines Are the Leading Cause of Northern California Wildfires
While wildfires are often thought of as natural disasters, it is actually most commonly a person or business that is responsible for starting the blaze. In Northern California, downed power lines are the leading cause of wildfires, and poor maintenance of electrical equipment is a common problem among PG&E and other California power utilities.
In 2018, Cal Fire investigators determined that PG&E violated state laws requiring utilities to maintain adequate clearance levels between power lines and vegetation, and that downed PG&E power lines were the cause of several of the 2017 Northern California wildfires in Wine Country.
Chico Enterprise-Record: PG&E May Have Sparked the Camp Fire
According to an article by the Chico Enterprise-Record, downed PG&E power lines may have sparked the Camp Fire per firefighter radio transmissions reviewed by Bay Area News Group. The article reports that at about 6:33 a.m. on November 8, 2018, firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire “under the high tension power lines” across the Feather River from Poe Dam, where CAL FIRE officials have identified as the fire’s origin on the agency’s incident page.
The article quotes one firefighter who told dispatch “We’ve got eyes on the vegetation fire. It’s going to be very difficult to access, Camp Creek Road is nearly inaccessible. It is on the west side of the river underneath the transmission line.” A dispatcher also alerted responding crews that “[t]here’s a possible power line hazard” per the article, and trucks arriving to the fire acknowledged “Copy, power lines down.”
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports that PG&E had announced it might shut down power to parts of Butte County on Thursday, but it chose not to do so. The article quotes Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean who emphasized that the cause is under investigation, but that the probe would include “electrical equipment.”
Northern California Fire Lawyers in the News
Our team of Butte Camp Fire Attorneys have been featured and our lawsuit against PG&E has been chronicled in major national and California news publications:
- Mike Danko in San Francisco Chronicle: “At some point there has to be accountability.”
- Amanda Riddle on ABC10: “They were leading people to a false sense of security.”
- Kristine Meredith on Fox40: “What’s so troubling to us [about the fires] is not only does it not change, it gets worse each time.”
- Dario de Ghetaldi in Mercury News: “PG&E needs to stop blowing up and burning down California.”
About the CampFire Lawyers of NorCal Fire Lawyers
We are an experienced legal team that represents homeowners, renters and businesses affected by fires throughout California. Our attorneys have been appointed by California judges to serve in leadership roles in several large, coordinated fire and disaster cases, including in the 2017 PG&E Fire Cases, San Bruno Explosion and Butte Fire cases. Collectively we have more experience taking on PG&E than any other law firm in California.
Our team of lawyers has been widely-recognized for the quality of our work and achievements on behalf of our clients:
• Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California, Daily Journal (Eric Gibbs)
• Trial Lawyer of the Year, Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California (Mike Danko)
• Woman Advocate of the Year, Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California (Amanda Riddle)
• Consumer Protection MVP, Law360 (Eric Gibbs)
• Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California (Kristine Meredith)
• Consumer Attorney of the Year, Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California (Eric Gibbs)
• Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California (Mike Danko, Kristine Meredith, Eric Gibbs)
• Trial Lawyer of the Year, San Mateo Trial Lawyers Association (Mike Danko)
Our firms consist of seasoned trial lawyers, leading national personal injury attorneys, and experienced complex litigators. We bring a deep knowledge of the systems and fire-prevention policies of major utility companies and are well-positioned to leverage the hard work from our previous cases to benefit our clients.
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