Butte County Camp Fire Victims Sued PG&E over Alleged Negligence

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Camp Fire
Search and rescue workers are looking for human remains at a trailer park burnt by the Camp Fire. Credits: AP/John Locher

Butte County Camp Fire victims sued PG&E Corporation alleging that the utility company was negligent for failing to inspect, maintain, repair, or replace its infrastructure and power lines.

In the lawsuit, the victims through their lawyers argued that PG&E “contributed to the cause of the Camp Fire” because of its “inexcusable behavior.”

They noted that the 2013 Liberty Report found that the utility company’s “distribution system presents significant safety issues.” The report recommended that “PG&E treat aging infrastructure as an enterprise-level risk.”

According to the complainants, PG&E made public statements that it was treating wildfires as an enterprise-level risk following the release of the 2013 Liberty Report. However, they argued that the utility company used unscientific and invalid statistical methodology to evaluate the severity of the risk. As a result, it “failed to appropriately evaluate the frequency and severity of the risk posed by wildfires.”

Plaintiffs alleged that PG&E’s “corporate culture is the root cause of the Camp Fire”

“PG&E’s failure to treat its aging infrastructure as an enterprise-level risk in a reasonable manner contributed to the cause of the Camp Fire,” according to the complainants.