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|February 20, 2019|
Class-action lawsuit filed over Camp Fire cause
SAN FRANCISCO - The utility company operating in the heart of the region devastated by the deadly Camp Fire in California was named Wednesday as the target of a class-action lawsuit, which alleged Pacific Gas & Electric bears responsibility for the "unprecedented disaster."
Attorneys representing several residents who lost everything in the tragedy said PG&E is to blame for the fire, which began Nov. 8 in Butte County. The lawsuit claims "unsafe electrical infrastructure" started the blaze.
"The fire was started by unsafe PG&E equipment . . . It becomes a tragedy that could have, and should have, been avoided had PG&E done their legal duty of safely operating and maintaining their power infrastructure," said the complaint, filed in San Francisco Superior Court.
Cal Fire, the agency investigating the blaze, has not made a determination about its cause.
One of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, Robert Eldridge, told USA TODAY he has post-traumatic stress disorder from the experience of having to flee from his house in the town of Paradise, which was wiped out by the quickly moving inferno.
The lawsuit follows another that was filed last month, which also alleges that PG&E was negligent. It claims that PG&E failed to properly maintain, repair and replace its equipment.
A PG&E statement at the time said that “It’s important to remember that the cause (of the “Camp Fire”) has yet to be determined."
The Northern California fire killed 85 and destroyed close to 14,000 homes. Eleven people remained missing as of last report.
Story Date: December 11, 2018