San Andreas, CA… The Airola Butte Fire attorneys today announced that they’ve filed a complaint on behalf of more than 70 victims of the Butte Fire that swept through Calaveras and Amador counties in September. The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of California, Calaveras County and names PG&E Corporation, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, ACRT, Inc., and Trees, Inc. for wrongful conduct and “conscious disregard for the safety of the public.”
The Airola Butte Fire Attorneys include Calaveras based attorneys Steve Airola and John Airola and a group of attorneys from Sacramento and Southern California who have extensive experience in wildfire and insurance litigation. They have been holding weekly Town Hall meetings and insurance workshops in Mountain Ranch on Mondays and in San Andreas on Tuesdays to help property owners understand their rights and recover losses caused by the fire. These weekly informational meetings will continue through November.
“The Airola Family has been representing people in the Motherlode since 1916. We understand the needs of our community and are passionate about fighting for the victims of the Butte Fire,” said Steven Airola. “We’ve teamed up with some of the best attorneys in California to better serve our community because it is our belief that PG&E, et al were negligent in that they failed to properly maintain, repair, and inspect surrounding power lines and adjacent vegetation.”
The complaint filed states that PG&E has a duty to keep vegetation properly trimmed and maintained so as to prevent contact with their power lines, but despite knowing that Amador and Calaveras Counties were in a state of drought and fire danger was at an extraordinarily high level, they failed to properly maintain vegetation near the lines so as to ensure safety to the community. The complaint goes on to state that PG&E has been subject to numerous fines and penalties over the past 10 years as a result of their ongoing failure to abide by safety rules and regulations. The most recent penalty imposed on PG&E for a safety violation occurred on April 9, 2015, when the CPUC imposed a record $1.6 billion for safety violations that resulted in deaths, injuries and the destruction of homes related to the San Bruno fire.
The plaintiffs in this action are seeking damages for each individual plaintiff for, among other things, personal injury; damage to and loss of use of real and personal property; pain and suffering; injury to livestock and pets; loss of income; consequential and incidental damages; and for emotional suffering, fear and anxiety, inconvenience and other harm caused by the wrong conduct of the defendants.
The Butte Fire began on September 9 and destroyed approximately 475 homes, more than 343 outbuildings and damaged 45 other structures. The fire also caused the death of two people and injured others.
According to their website, the Airola Butte Fire Attorneys have collectively obtained hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of individuals, business, and land owners who have suffered losses due to fires caused by negligent power companies. The team includes Eric Ratinoff with the Sacramento based law firm of Eric Ratinoff Law Corp., Robert Jackson and Brett Parkinson from Jackson & Parkinson, Trial Lawyers. Jackson and Parkinson represented hundreds of victims of the 2007 San Diego Wildfire litigation and currently represent hundreds of victims of the 2012 Wood Hollow Fire in Utah.
This team of lawyers also has extensive experience fighting insurance matters, specifically involving fire loss, public utility liability and insurance bad faith, and they are offering free help at their weekly meetings for residents who are processing insurance claims.
If interested in obtaining a copy of the complaint, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about upcoming town hall meetings, visit www.airolabuttefireattorneys.com.