PG&E’S Bankruptcy and Wildfire Claims
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 29, 2019. Those who were injured, lost loved ones, and suffered property damage in the 2017 North Bay Fires and 2018 Camp Fire may be wondering what this means for their claims against PG&E. In short, fire victims still have a legal claim and have not lost their right to recover damages against PG&E.
Contact Camp Fire Trial Lawyers today for a free legal consultation regarding your PG&E bankruptcy claim.
PG&E’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows PG&E to continue to operate its business and propose a plan to restructure its debts under the supervision of the bankruptcy court. This means that PG&E is not insolvent and continues to operate and make billions of dollars in profits as usual. In fact, at the time of the bankruptcy filing, PG&E claimed it was worth in excess of $70 billion dollars. The company made this strategic move because its recklessness and complete disregard for safety caused many California wildfires throughout the years, including the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. But PG&E’s bankruptcy does not stop the families harmed by PG&E from seeking justice and compensation for their losses.
Fire Victims Still Have A Legal Claim Against PG&E For Their Fire-Related Losses
All fire victims now have a “claim” for their fire related losses in federal bankruptcy court. All state court lawsuits filed against PG&E for the 2017 and 2018 wildfires are now “stayed” or on “hold” and will now be handled in PG&E’s bankruptcy case. Fire victims are also now “creditors” of PG&E and their claims for fire-related losses will be resolved in bankruptcy.
Claim Bar Date
On June 26, 2019, the bankruptcy court judge set an October 21, 2019, bankruptcy “claim bar date” for all PG&E “creditors,” which includes all fire victims who suffered harm or injury from the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. This means that all fire victims must file the court approved fire victim Proof of Claim form [LINK TO FORM HERE] by October 21, 2019, or you will waive your right to recover any money damages from PG&E for your fire-related losses.
If you have already retained Camp Fire Trial Lawyers to represent you against PG&E for your Camp fire losses, we will continue to represent you in bankruptcy and will file a claim on your behalf. If you are a fire victim and still need an attorney to assist you with your bankruptcy claim, we are here to help you. Please contact us today for a free legal consultation.
The Tort Claimant’s Committee (TCC)
After PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the U.S. Trustee set up 3 creditor committees to represent the collective interests of each creditor group in PG&E’s bankruptcy proceedings, including a separate creditor committee for fire victims only, called the TCC. These creditor groups have the power to inquire into PG&E’s operations, demand justification for PG&E’s bankruptcy filing, hire bankruptcy counsel and financial advisors, investigate PG&E’s financial condition and operations, form corporate policy and contribute to PG&E’s reorganization plan.
The U.S. Trustee held a two step interview process and ultimately appointed 11 fire victims from various fires to the TCC in February 2019. One TCC member is retired Chief of Police of Chico and Oroville, Kirk Trostle, who is a Camp Fire Trial Lawyers client. All TCC members have a fiduciary duty to all fire victims, regardless of what fire caused them harm personally.
Full and Fair Compensation for Fire Victims in Bankruptcy
Camp Fire Trial Lawyers continues to fight for the rights of fire victims in bankruptcy court. Many thanks to Chief Trostle for his hard work and advocacy for the fair treatment of fire victims in PG&E’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Chief Trostle and lead trial counsel Tom Tosdal have been working tirelessly against the big bank, financially interested creditors to ensure that all fire victims’ rights are protected and not forgotten in the bankruptcy process. There is still a long road ahead of us in bankruptcy but rest assured that Camp Fire Trial Lawyers continue to fight to get you full and fair compensation for your losses.
Contact the Camp Fire Trial Lawyers for Assistance With Your Bankruptcy Claim
For more than a decade, the Camp Fire Trial Lawyers have been successfully representing people harmed by power line-triggered fires. We are lifelong California residents and advocates with a strong reputation for successfully representing individuals, families and businesses against utility companies for the destruction of life and community caused by power line fires. We represent hundreds of Camp fire victims who have suffered deeply as a result of PG&E’s recklessness and complete disregard for safety, and we can help you.
We welcome you to call (530) 755-7810 or fill out our contact form if you have any questions about legal recourse, your case, or getting started with filing a claim. There is no obligation when you contact the Camp Fire Trial Lawyers.
Answers to Common Questions About PG&E’s Bankruptcy
What impact did the bankruptcy have on my state court lawsuit?
When PG&E filed for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay,” or hold, was placed on all pending litigation against PG&E, including the lawsuits Camp Fire Trial Lawyers filed on behalf of hundreds of Camp Fire victims. Those claims will not proceed unless and until the bankruptcy court gives permission. This does not mean that the people impacted by the Camp Fire have lost their day in court. All fire victims claims will not be resolved in PG&E’s bankruptcy case.