Former PG&E officers and directors face lawsuit for roles in California fires

Fire Victim Trust filed a lawsuit against nearly two dozen former executives and board members of PG&E for their role in causing the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire.

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 9:20 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2021 9:23 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The Fire Victim Trust filed a lawsuit against former officers and directors of PG&E Corporation and PG&E for their role in causing the North Bay Fires and the Camp Fire, according to the Fire Victim Trust.

Fire Victim Trust, which is representing nearly 80,000 victims, is suing nearly two dozen former executives and board members of PG&E for Dereliction of Duty.

“It is our duty to hold accountable the prior officers and directors who grossly neglected to do their jobs in the lead-up to the North Bay Fires and the Camp Fire,” Hon. Justice John K. Trotter, Trustee of the Fire Victim Trust, said in a press release. “These individuals had the responsibility to customers, employees, shareholders, and the public to ensure that safety was one of PG&E’s highest priorities.”

The lawsuit says PG&E had not installed and implemented a system to shut off power like other utilities in the North Bay Fires.

It also says in 2017 PG&E was six years behind on its vegetation management program, meaning vegetation was not properly trimmed and maintained.

“Tens of thousands of people have needlessly suffered because PG&E’s former officers and directors failed to adopt robust policies and procedures for vegetation management or provide oversight of PG&E’s aging transmission tower infrastructure,” Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, who is serving as co-lead counsel for the Fire Victim Trust, said in a press release.

In the Camp Fire, the Complaint alleges the defendants failed to detect and replace aging equipment as part of PG&E’s transmission inspection program.

Fire Victim Trust specifically points out the 100-year-old “C-hook” that was mounted on a transmission tower failed and started the fire.

The First Victim Trust is seeking enough monetary damages and injunctive or declaratory relief to reform PG&E’s corporate governance.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court.

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