The intent of this post is to provide an update on the Camp Fire litigation that is currently pending against PG&E. If you have been following our blog, you are aware that PG&E recently filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the claims of all of the Camp Fire victims will now have to be litigated through the bankruptcy proceedings. The bankruptcy that PG&E has filed is known as a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means that they will be restructuring.
There was a creditors’ meeting that took place in San Francisco last month where creditors were permitted to ask PG&E executives questions about their finances. However, because PG&E had not yet filed its schedules and financial statements very little substantive questions were addressed. As a result, the creditors meeting was continued to April 15, 2019. At the meeting any creditor, Camp Fire victim, or individual that is owed money by PG&E can ask PG&E’s CFO questions that he will have to answer under oath.
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, there are different creditor committees. One of the creditor committees is the committee of tort victims; people who have been injured by PG&E and are owed money. This committee represents the interest of those creditors. That committee is comprised of not only Camp Fire victims, but victims of the Santa Rosa fires as well as any individual who has been injured by PG&E. The committee has its own bankruptcy attorney and a financial planner; someone who can assist in estimating the value of the claims for all people who are victims of some type of negligence committed by PG&E.
The goal of the committee of those injured by PG&E is to maximize the estimate of the claim for this group of people. To do this, there is an effort by fire victims and their attorneys to collect data on the value of each victim’s claim. There will be a standardized questionnaire that will go out within the next couple of weeks that all clients will need to fill out. This questionnaire will ask victims to describe their losses. Experts will then review these statements and come up with an estimate of what the total claim is worth for the entire group of Camp Fire victims.
When a restructuring plan is eventually approved by the court, money should be set aside to take care of all tort victims. There will be a distribution process after this plan is approved where individual tort victims can then submit their proof to determine how much compensation they should receive. We will have another update after the creditors meeting on April 15.
If you have any losses as a result of the Camp Fire, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible as the court will be setting a deadline to file claims in the very near future. We want to ensure that all victims are protected. Please give us a call at 530-531-8862 if you need assistance in filing a claim or if you have any questions pertaining to the litigation.