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California Wild Fire DamageDixie Fire

PG&E’s practices have contributed to California wildfires: What you need to know

By August 17, 2021May 26th, 2022No Comments

Pacific Gas & Electric, Northern California’s most prominent utility company, provides energy for 5.2 million households. California Law requires PG&E to operate its utilities safely and responsibly. 

Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. Over the past 3 years, PG&E has been held partially or wholly responsible for wildfires that have burned land, damaged property, and displaced people throughout Northern California. Now, evidence suggests that PG&E may be responsible for the Dixie Fire, as well.

At Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel, LLP, we have represented thousands of clients who have lost property or been injured in wildfires caused by PG&E’s negligence. If you think you may be entitled to compensation from PG&E, read on to learn more.

Establishing liability in a wildfire case

Every year, wildfires burn an average of 1 million acres of land in California. The thousands of Californians who lose their homes, businesses, or property to these fires usually recover their damages through insurance.

However, if the fire that damaged your property was the result of preventable causes, you can hold the person or entity responsible for the fire liable in civil court.

You will need the help of a fire damage attorney to present evidence to a jury that this person or entity was responsible for your damage.

With an experienced attorney on your side, it is possible to recover compensation for any of the following:

  • Damage to your home
  • Damage to your business property
  • Damage to your ranch lands, equipment, or timber
  • Business disruption
  • Lost income or living expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Personal injury
  • Wrongful death
  • Evacuation costs

And if the wildfire that damaged your property was one of the recent major fires in Northern California, there’s a chance PG&E may be that responsible party.

PG&E’s role in recent California wildfires

As the Dixie Fire continues to burn across Butte, Plumas and Lassen Counties, it has grown to become the second-largest wildfire in California’s history.

There’s also growing evidence that PG&E was responsible for starting the Dixie Fire. According to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey, there’s “very little doubt” that power equipment operated by the utility company helped start the fire.

And this is only the latest in a series of wildfires that PG&E’s improperly maintained equipment caused:

  • Last fall, the Zogg Fire burned across 56,000-acres and killed four people, and the utility company reached a $12 million settlement with two of the affected counties. 
  • In the case of the Camp Fire of 2018, which was also a direct result of PG&E’s negligence, PG&E pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
  • 2019’s Kincaid Fire also led to criminal charges for PG&E after the fire damaged and destroyed more than 400 buildings and injured firefighters.

Last year, Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel represented over 1,600 Californians who lost homes, property, and businesses in the Zogg Fire. Our lawsuit helped force PG&E to create a $13.5 billion fund to compensate fire victims.

Contact a California fire damage attorney

No one should have to deal with the aftermath of a fire alone. If you have been the victim of a preventable fire like the Dixie Fire, we can help make sure that the person or entity at fault is held responsible, and that you receive compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. Contact Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel today to schedule a free consultation and talk about your case.

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