An estimated 70,000 Wildfire Victim Claims Still Unfiled with October 21 Rapidly Deadline Approaching
The claim filing deadline for victims of wildfires caused by PG&E power lines in 2017 and 2018 is quickly approaching. As reported by the New York Times, as many as 70,000 victims eligible for compensation may receive nothing if they do not file by the 10/21 deadline.
PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January and has pledged to pay out $8.4 billion to court-approved wildfire victims. The utility says it mailed out 6.2 million claim forms to potential victims however, victims have repeatedly said that filing a claim is just not in the forefront of their minds as they continue to deal with the trauma and management of their devastating and often huge losses. Many just tossed out the claim form assuming it was junk mail, while other weren’t sure they ever got one.
Some lawyers of 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. But unfortunately, all claims by 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 two weeks.
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://pgewildfireinfo.com/.
Note: Individuals with claims against PG&E (including all 2017 and 2018 fire victims) must submit a proof of claim by the October 2019 deadline or will likely lose the chance to seek compensation.