Kentucky residents may remember that back in November 2018, California saw the worst wildfire in its history. Now known as the Camp Fire, it raged across Northern California, killing 85 people and laying the towns of Paradise, Magalia and Concow to waste. It also destroyed the Miocene Canal, cutting off water access to those in the area.
The fire was caused by the sparks from a failed transmission line from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PG&E has accepted responsibility for the fire and pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting a fire. It is unclear why the company did not plead guilty to 85 counts of involuntary manslaughter when 85 people were killed.
In a plea agreement with the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, the utility company will pay the maximum fine of $4 million and fund all efforts to restore water access after the destruction of the canal. The courts have also set June 30 as the deadline for PG&E to resolve its bankruptcy case. The company had filed for bankruptcy back in 2018 after facing billions of dollars’ worth of claims from victims.
When a loved one has died as a result of another’s carelessness, the family may file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek reimbursement for losses like funeral and burial costs, loss of support and consortium and the cost of any medical treatments that the victim had undergone before dying. Such lawsuits can arise in the wake of natural disasters, car accidents, workplace accidents and other incidents.
Before moving forward with a lawsuit, the family may want to consult a personal injury attorney. If retained, the attorney might bring in investigators and other third parties to strengthen the case. The attorney may then be able to negotiate for an out-of-court settlement or litigate.