Judge Rules Victims of Northern California Wildfires Must File Claims Before October 21st, Amidst Pacific Gas and Electric Company Bankruptcy

In 2017 and 2018, the negligence of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company sparked the deadliest wildfires in the history of the state of California. Shortly after the November 2018 Camp Fire which burned down thousands of homes and killed 85 people in Butte County, PG&E filed for bankruptcy, propelling a process of litigation to determine how the wildfire victims would be compensated. In the most recent development, United States Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali chose October 21, 2019 as the final filing deadline for all PG&E wildfire-related legal claims.

Prior to this ruling, attorneys for Camp Fire victims fought for an alternative January 2020 filing deadline, which would allow more people who were affected by the fires to receive notice about the claims deadline and make their decision on whether or not to file. The large number of displaced victims was the main reason for seeking an extension of the deadline — as their homes were destroyed in the fires, many victims do not have a permanent residence or easy access to the internet at this time. With the PG&E-proposed messaging strategy focused on online ads and letters, a notice of the claims deadline may not reach those victims.

Judge Montali did not agree with Camp Fire victim’s position and argued that Pacific Gas and Electric’s proposed plan was comprehensive enough and that individuals with claims should become aware of the deadline prior to October 21. The PG&E plan, which is expected to reach people starting in July, will rely on expected multiple-exposure points via online ads, social media, television commercials, The Wall Street Journal and local newspapers, direct mail, terrestrial radio and music streaming services, and magazines including People and Sports Illustrated.

Kershaw Talley Barlow is representing the victims of the wildfires in Northern California. We are committed to holding Pacific Gas and Electric Company accountable for their negligence, and helping those displaced by the fires recover.

Contact Kershaw Talley Barlow if you were affected by the PG&E Camp-Paradise wildfires. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys today by calling (916) 520-6639, or use the message formon our website.

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