Only three days remain before the October 21st claim filing deadline for victims of wildfires caused by PG&E power lines in 2017 and 2018. As reported by the Napa Valley Register, a grassroots group of Northern California fire victims held a press conference on the two-year anniversary of the first of the North Bay fires to bring awareness to fellow fire victims about the Monday, October 21st deadline to file claims against PG&E, as more than half of fire victims have yet to file claims and are thus at risk of losing any compensation from the utility.
As noted by the Register, claims are not limited to property damage, and include lost income, loss of community, and emotional distress. Victims do not need to hire lawyers or know the monetary value of their claim before filing.
Filing is free and requires little effort. Detailed instructions on how to file out the forms is available at www.pgefireinfo.com.
At least $8.4 Billion Pledged to Pay Claims
Since PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January, the company has pledged to pay out $8.4 billion to court-approved wildfire victims. Some lawyers for wildfire victims claim PG&E’s bankruptcy proceeding has been leveraged by the company to prevent as many people as possible from filing a claim. They feel the October 21st deadline for claims is inappropriately rigid and will ultimately result in fewer claims to pay out. Nevertheless, the deadline stands.
The Register notes that PG&E’s filing for protective bankruptcy effectively cut in half the time fire victims would normally have to make claims against the utility behemoth. Again, all claims against PG&E from Northern California residents who suffered losses in the wake of the series of wildfires that swept across the northern part of the state in 2017 and 2018 must be submitted within the next three days.
Lieff Cabraser will be filing proofs of claim on behalf of all our clients, and will consider taking on new clients seeking help with the filing process in some cases. If you are a fire victim without a lawyer, the claim form can be accessed and submitted electronically at: https://www.pgefireinfo.com/.
Note: Individuals with claims against PG&E (including all 2017 and 2018 fire victims) must submit a proof of claim by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 21, 2019 or will likely lose the chance to seek compensation.