California wildfire victims sue former PG&E executives for alleged neglect

California wildfire victims sue former PG&E executives for alleged neglect
© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Victims of the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires are suing former Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) executives, alleging the company neglected to maintain equipment that started the deadly blazes.

The complaint was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday by a trust representing more than 80,000 people affected by the wildfires, ABC News reported.

Frank Pitre, the lawyer representing the victims, said his clients are seeking $200 million to $400 million, the amount of liability insurance PG&E extended to its executives.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are aware of the lawsuit,” a spokesperson for PG&E told The Hill.

“We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area and making our electric system more resilient to the climate-driven challenges we all face in California,” the spokesperson added.

PG&E settled for $13.5 billion with victims in a previous case that allowed residents to go after executives later.

“PG&E has already contributed the vast majority of the agreed $13.5B to compensate individual wildfire victims,” the company said.

Victims have not received their full compensation from the first deal as half of the money was paid in stocks with the company and the stocks have not been doing as well as they were at the time the deal was made. 

The company pleaded guilty to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter after the electric grid started a wildfire in 2018 that killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes.