California’s 2018 Camp wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise and killed over 80 people. As reported by ABC10, utility PG&E knew seven months prior to the fire that a 72-year-old power line had “severe wear” on its steel parts that could affect safe operation of the line. PG&E’s own internal report concluded that the line still had 28 years of life left in disregard of its own policies on power line maintenance.
The Camp wildfire was started by PG&E’s Caribou-Palermo line, a line that was in fact older than originally reported by the company’s lab reports. The line was built in 1921 and was 97 years old when it failed. Former PG&E engineer Nick Bantz described PG&E’s power line maintenance policy as “run to failure,” letting the line go unreplaced until actual failure. “Run to failure was the policy I knew about. That was talked about as company policy,” Bantz said.
ABC10 examined PG&E’s 2018 lab report on six of the hanger plates from the Parkway-Moraga transmission line located near the East Bay. Each of these metal parts (which serve to hold up power lines) had severe “keyholing” similar to the power line that ignited the Camp Fire. PG&E’s lab report claimed these parts still had “between 28 and 25 years” of life left. Nick Bantz reviewed the report and noted, “there is no remaining life to that” — that those parts had been at risk of cracking for years.
California Wildfire Injury & Loss Lawyers
Lieff Cabraser represents the family of Ernest Francis “Ernie” Foss, beloved father and musician, who was killed in the November 2018 Camp Fire. Lieff Cabraser also represents plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit as well as hundreds of individual suits filed against PG&E for the devastating property damage, economic losses, and disruption to homes, businesses, and livelihoods caused by the Camp wildfire.
If you would like to speak with a California wildfire lawyer at Lieff Cabraser, call us at 1 800 541-7358 or use the form on this page.