FAQs: PG&E Lawsuit Frequently Asked Questions
Is the PG&E Lawsuit a Class Action?
No. Damage claims for North Bay and Camp Fire victims are filed on an individual basis. This means you will have your own attorney to represent you, and your case will be resolved according to the unique facts of your case and the damages you experienced. In a class action, by contrast, a select few plaintiffs would file a single lawsuit on behalf of all victims with any recovery divided amongst the class members. No such class has been certified in either the civil court or as part of the PG&E bankruptcy proceedings.
How Will the PG&E Bankruptcy Affect Your Right to Compensation?
PG&E’s January 29, 2019 bankruptcy filing was voluntary, and the company is not insolvent. Most importantly, the bankruptcy filing does not cut off the rights of fire victims to pursue their legal damages. Rather, claims will now proceed through the bankruptcy court rather than the civil court. Read more
What Types of Damages Are You Entitled to Pursue?
While each case is different, common damage categories include: the cost to repair or replace your home and personal property; the loss of use and enjoyment of your property; depreciation in the value of your land; damage to trees, timber, or underwood; business losses; lost wages; loss of crops; harm to pets or livestock; emotional distress; personal injury; and wrongful death.
Why Sue PG&E If You Have Insurance?
Most fire victims who had insurance will experience a shortfall in their policy limits, as well as significant legal damages that fall outside the policy altogether (e.g., emotional distress). You are entitled to pursue the difference from PG&E. Read more
Will the Attorney Take Any Portion of Your Insurance Payments?
No. Our law firm does not claim any percentage of your insurance coverage payments. We wish to see you recover the maximum amount under your policy following this disaster, and we are available to offer guidance to you throughout the insurance claims process.
Will You Have to Pay Any Legal Fees?
No. Our wildfire attorneys represent clients under a contingency fee arrangement. This means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees, case costs, or litigation expenses out of pocket. Instead, we recover fees and costs as a percentage of the amount recovered on your behalf and only if your case is successful. We invite your questions about our firm’s contingency rate and why we have lowered this percentage for our wildfire clients throughout the North Bay and Butte County. Read more
How Much Work Will Be Required of You if You Choose to Pursue a Claim?
In January 2019, PG&E filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Accordingly, all wildfire claims will now be resolved in the bankruptcy court as part of PG&E’s reorganization plan. This means your level of personal involvement will be less than in a traditional, single event lawsuit. You are not likely to be required to give deposition testimony, respond to burdensome discovery requests, or proceed through a jury trial. Instead, your attorney will work with you to gather proof of your damages, prepare your bankruptcy claim forms, and ensure a fair settlement of your individual case.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim?
As part of the bankruptcy process, the court must issue a bar date for bringing claims against PG&E, after which time no additional claims may be filed. This date was set for December 31, 2019. However, we encourage all fire survivors to consult an attorney to determine whether or not your legal rights have expired. Your lawyer can also help you document your losses, advise you of future deadlines, and offer guidance on insurance and other matters that might arise.