News

$13.5 Billion PG&E Settlement Approved by Bankruptcy Judge

In just a little over a week since the announcement of a $13.5 billion Camp Fire settlement with PG&E, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali has approved of the agreement. The settlement resolves individual claims associated with the Camp Fire in Paradise, CA and several other fires that took place in recent years. The $13.5 billion will be paid into a trust, which will then be disbursed to victims under a claims process. Part of the $13.5 billion is PG&E stock that will eventually be liquidated to make cash payments. The judge also approved PG&E’s $11 billion agreement reached with insurance companies.

California Governor Gavin Newsom agrees that the settlement is fair to fire victims. “We don’t want to stand in the way of that,” said a lawyer for the governor. PG&E now needs to gain Governor Newsom’s and Judge Montali’s approval of its bankruptcy plan by June 30, 2020.

If you and your family suffered damages during the Camp Fire and want to file a compensation claim to receive part of the $13.5 billion settlement, you must do so by 5pm on December 31st.  Don’t wait until the deadline to file your claim. Contact one of our attorneys today at (866) 265-0874 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim. We offer free consultations.

JUUL Litigation Continues as Vaping Leads to Hospitalization & Deaths

Dozens of product liability and class action lawsuits filed against e-cigarette and vaping behemoth, JUUL Labs, were centralized in court last month in order to move litigation forward quickly, given the gravity of the health concerns surrounding their products.

The company’s JUUL vape pen, a device that looks like a USB flash drive, has been linked to lung damage, respiratory illness, and deaths among teens and prior non-smokers. In recent months, emergency rooms across the country have been treating thousands of people for vaping-related illnesses—in severe cases, with ventilators and oxygen treatments. The American Medical Association echoed the concerns of parents and medical professionals by calling for a ban on vaping products.

Many of the complaints in the JUUL Litigation allege that the San Francisco-based company targeted youth (including minors) by producing and marketing candy-flavored JUUL Pods. Furthermore, the packaging allegedly failed to warn consumers about the nicotine addiction risks and promoted its vaping products as healthier alternatives to cigarettes.

In September 2019, a criminal investigation commenced and the CEO of JUUL Labs stepped down.

If you or a loved one suffered a vaping related illness or died from a vaping illness, please call us at (866) 333-3895 to discuss your potential claim. We offer free consultations.

Less than Two Weeks Left to File Camp Fire Compensation Claims

California residents and business owners impacted by the November 2018 Camp Fire have until 5pm on December 31st to file for compensation from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Since the fire broke out, destroying thousands of structures and taking 85 lives, the utility company was deemed responsible for starting the blaze, and subsequently filed for bankruptcy. In early December 2019, PG&E agreed to pay $13.5 billion to settle individual claims associated with the deadly Camp Fire and several other fires that took place in recent years.

If you or your family suffered damages during the Camp Fire, don’t wait until the deadline to file your claim. Contact one of our attorneys today at (866) 265-0874 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim. We offer free consultations.

$13.5 Billion PG&E Settlement Awaits Approval from Governor Newsom and Bankruptcy Judge

With the announcement of a $13.5 billion settlement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), relief may be on the way for residents and business owners displaced by the relentless Camp Fire that blazed through Butte County, California. However, the settlement still must be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, overseeing the PG&E bankruptcy case, as well as California Governor Gavin Newsom. Governor Newsom must decide if the agreement PG&E reached with fire victim attorneys complies with new state wildfire law AB1054, which the governor backed, that creates a fund that PG&E could access to protect it from future fire costs as long as it resolves its bankruptcy by June 30, 2020.

If you or your family suffered damages during the Camp Fire, you only have until 5pm on December 31, 2019 to file for compensation from PG&E. Don’t wait until the deadline to file your claim. Contact one of our attorneys today at (866) 265-0874 for a confidential evaluation of your potential claim. We offer free consultations.

PG&E Neglected Power Lines for Years Leading up to the Camp Fire

In November of 2018, California experienced its most devastating fire to date. The Camp Fire took the lives of 85 people and 19,000 properties were either damaged or destroyed in its wake. Northern California’s Butte County endured the fire for weeks on end. Reporting by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has since determined that Pacific Gas and Electric Company, or PG&E, was responsible for these California wildfires.

The California Wildfire Cause and the PG&E Fire Lawsuit Deadline

For years, PG&E was systemically neglecting routine maintenance for its equipment. Recent reporting from the California Public Utilities Commission’s Safety and Enforcement Division indicates that the average life expectancy of a transmission tower is 65 years. It also indicates that a sample of towers needs to be inspected every 3 to 5 years.

PG&E, however, had failed to properly inspect its towers for years, relying instead on aerial and ground views of its towers. This oversight led to the malfunction of the 96-year-old Caribou-Palermo transmission line which sparked the Camp Fire. This old tower was well beyond the 65-year mark. According to the SED report, it had not been properly inspected since 2001, a 17-year gap in inspection.

Additionally, inefficient documenting procedures contributed to the California wildfire cause. Inspections of PG&E’s equipment did not reveal documentation of worn hardware. Loose anchors and worn hooks went overlooked and neglected. According to a report from NBC, the malfunction of the Caribou-Palermo transmission line’s “C hook” may have directly caused the fire. Proper inspections should have led to the identification of this defective piece of hardware. This means that adequate maintenance should have prevented the Camp Fire.

PG&E Fire Claims

Now that the cause of the Camp Fire has been pinned down, those affected should know their options. PG&E lawsuits filed by individuals impacted by the fire put pressure on the company, which faced $30 billion in potential liabilities. The company decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result. PG&E then created a $105 million assistance fund to help those affected by the deadly California wildfire. While this fund still faces criticism, its approval came in May of 2019.

Many of those affected have yet to file a PG&E fire lawsuit. Estimates find that less than half of those who are eligible to file have actually done so. Some take these estimates to indicate the failure of PG&E to properly publicize their assistance fund. Another reason for the lack of PG&E fire claims may be due to the displacement of California residents. Advertising for the assistance fund may not reach those who have fled California in the fire’s wake. Others are simply unaware that filing a PG&E fire lawsuit is an option for them.

Deadline for Filing PG&E Fire Claims Extended

For these reasons, the presiding judge over PG&E’s bankruptcy case has extended the deadline for filing a PG&E fire lawsuit. Previously, residents affected by the wildfire had until October 21 to file their claims. Now, the deadline for filing PG&E fire claims is 5 pm on December 31, 2019.

Compensation from a PG&E fire lawsuit may cover a number of expenses that residents incurred as a result of the Camp Fire. These include funeral expenses for lost loved ones. It also includes expenses for personal injuries sustained in the fire, such as burns. Other compensation may cover property damage for homes and automobiles, among others. In some cases, compensation for emotional distress is also available.

How to File a PG&E Fire Claim

Victims of the California Camp Fire should speak with an experienced attorney about possible options. If you are thinking about filing a PG&E lawsuit, you should contact an attorney immediately. Collecting the relevant documentation and information for your case may take time. Waiting to file a claim on the December 31 deadline may hurt your chances of receiving compensation.

You can reach our experienced attorneys at (866) 265-0874 for a case evaluation and free consultation.

 

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