Seven plaintiffs allege in a proposed class action lawsuit that the November 2018 Camp Fire, which displaced tens of thousands of people, killed nearly 100, and injured countless others, was caused by “unsafe electrical infrastructure” owned, operated and maintained by defendants PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric.
The defendants, the plaintiffs argue, had a duty to properly upkeep their electrical infrastructure, which the 50-page lawsuit says PG&E knew was “aging, unsafe, and vulnerable” to weather events and risky environmental conditions. The complaint alleges PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric, North California’s leading energy suppliers, failed to, among other maintenance measures, adequately design, construct, monitor, maintain, operate, repair and replace power lines, transformers, conductors, insulators and other equipment, as well as inspect and control vegetation around powerlines given the foreseeable fire risk. According to the plaintiffs, the defendants failed to not only fulfill these duties, but to take preventive measures amid obvious high-risk weather conditions.
“PG&E’s failures ultimately resulted in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history,” the lawsuit reads, noting that the defendants have been “sanctioned a number of times for virtually identical misconduct.”
The Camp Fire began in the early hours of November 8 near Pulga, California, the suit states. The blaze quickly moved west, the case says, decimating the town of Paradise and killing at least 88 people. As of the lawsuit’s filing date, 25 individuals are still missing, according to the complaint.