5 Reasons to Consider a Butte Wildfire Suit

October 27, 2015  |  Environmental

There is a very high likelihood the failure of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to properly clear vegetation was the direct cause of the Butte Wildfire, which killed two people, destroyed more than 500 homes and charred approximately 71,000 acres. If you were affected by this catastrophe, you seriously need to consider taking action to investigate PG&E’s conduct. These are just five of the reasons why.

1. Environmental Impact

This fire, caused by a tree coming in contact with a live PG&E power line, blackened a beautiful area. It could be decades before it fully recovers. PG&E should fully address the impact to both the environment and to homeowners caused by its actions and inactions.

2. Holding PG&E Accountable

Again, all signs point to the fire being caused due to a tree touching a PG&E power line. The utility is responsible for clearing vegetation a safe distance away from its lines so this type of tragedy does not happen. It appears PG&E was negligent in its responsibility, and must be held accountable in order to minimize the chances anything like this will happen again.

3. Inverse Condemnation

California law uses a legal theory called “inverse condemnation,” an instance where a public utility (such as PG&E) damages or seizes private property without properly compensating the owner. This may allow impacted people to recover a wide range of damages from PG&E as the responsible party.

4. FEMA Assistance Can Only Go So Far

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) declared Calaveras County a disaster area, making residents affected by the fire eligible for governmental assistance. However, even if someone were permanently displaced by the fire, he or she would receive no more $32,900. For many, that kind of compensation does not come close to fully and fairly paying for the damages caused by the fire.

5. Litigation

If PG&E does not take responsibility for this tragedy and fairly compensate those impacted, a lawsuit may be necessary.  In hiring Baron & Budd, an experienced, national environmental law firm, there is no up-front cost; Baron & Budd is paid only if there is a successful resolution for their clients.

If you would like to learn more about how Baron & Budd may be able to help if you have been affected by the Butte Wildfire, click here to get started online or call 866-723-1890.

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