Baron & Budd Files Suit on Behalf of Shasta and Tehama Counties Against PG&E for Zogg Fire Damages

December 10, 2020  |  Environmental, Press Releases, Wildfire

The devastating Zogg Fire killed four people and burned nearly 60,000 acres

Zogg Fire Tree
The gray pine at issue was identified in a photograph by PG&E in its recent federal court filing. (Photo: Business Wire)

December 10, 2020 — SAN DIEGO — Today, the nationally recognized attorneys from Baron & Budd filed suit against Pacific Gas & Electric Company and PG&E Corporation on behalf of Shasta and Tehama Counties for injuries and damages to public resources caused by the Zogg Fire, which ignited on September 27, 2020 near Zogg Mine Road and Jenny Bird Lane in Shasta County.

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court and alleges that the fire started when a gray pine tree fell and struck PG&E’s electrical equipment. According to the lawsuit, PG&E failed to remove the tree even though it had been identified as a potential hazard. The suit alleges the gray pine contacted PG&E’s electrified utility lines, starting a blaze that burned approximately 56,000 acres in two counties, destroyed or damaged over 200 buildings, and killed four people.

“The Zogg Fire caused significant damage to both Shasta and Tehama Counties,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “This is not the first time PG&E’s negligence has caused a devastating fire that has destroyed communities and the lives of many families. We will continue to hold these utility companies accountable for their actions and protect the victims of wildfires.”

The lawsuit details PG&E’s legal liability, including under causes of action such as inverse condemnation, negligence, nuisance, trespass, and violations under certain California state statutes.

In October, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office announced it joined an investigation to determine the cause of the Zogg Fire, along with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

United States District Court Judge Alsup ordered PG&E to describe whether PG&E equipment ignited the blaze. On November 18, 2020, PG&E filed papers in Judge Alsup’s court explaining the company “believes that the Gray Pine of interest may have been identified for removal during restoration efforts following the Carr Fire in 2018” based on records PG&E reviewed concerning the work. The gray pine at issue was identified in a photograph by PG&E in its filing with Judge Alsup, who continues to oversee a pending criminal matter in the Northern District of California.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.

Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.

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