Photo of Camp Fire Destruction

Photo by @wcastrotv

PG&E spokeswoman Lynsey Paulo is quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying, “PG&E has heard the calls for change and is committed to taking action by focusing our resources on reducing risk and improving safety throughout our system.”

If PG&E was committed to the calls for change, why didn’t they act sooner? The same WSJ article mentions the repeated delays of the 56-mile long Caribou-Palermo line’s maintenance project.  This is the same line suspected in causing the deadly 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County. PG&E has encountered more difficulties updating these lines then they imagined. The article explains how PG&E is still “planning to replace aging towers and hardware, some of which has been in use since the line began operating in 1921.”

The History

On November 8, 2018, the Caribou-Palermo line was reported to have malfunctioned minutes before the fire began. The date here is important because, according to WSJ, “PG&E in 2013 told federal regulators it had planned maintenance work on the line because it sagged too close to the ground and vegetation. It planned to complete the work by February 2016. Instead, it delayed the $30.3 million project several times.” The largest utility company in California knew in 2013 that the Caribou-Palermo line required work and they waited and waited and waited.

The power giant kept fixing smaller issues and ignored the bigger one. The article goes to describe the Caribou-Palermo line as one of the oldest in America. At the start of this line in the 1920s, electricity was a luxury that not many people had. As the population grew in the area, so did the demand for electrical power. The new demands on the aging structure would cause it to carry too much power – something called “thermal overload.”

What Now

Now that people have died, it is too late to say that they should have done it when they knew the line needed to be updated or replaced.  The people who were affected by the Camp Fire are not only faced with hurt from the loss of life and property, but also by PG&E declaring bankruptcy. This is why it is so important for these individuals to act now and obtain legal guidance.

Our attorneys have successfully fought against PG&E before and they are prepared to do it again. They are not only experienced in legal claims for damages, but they are also experienced in cases involving companies that declare bankruptcy. When a defendant like PG&E is in bankruptcy, there are critical deadlines that you need to be aware of.

If you or a loved one suffered losses due to the Camp Fire or other California wildfires, give us a call at 866-504-7321 or contact us online. We will let you know how the PG&E bankruptcy may affect your case and inform you of other ways in which we may be able to help.