The Petition for Coordination filed on behalf of more than 100 fire victims seeks to coordinate all lawsuits.
Online PR News – 01-November-2017 – The California Judicial Council is being asked to grant a petition to coordinate for pre-trial purposes all lawsuits alleging that PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric Company are responsible for the 2017 Wine Country Fires. The petition for coordination was filed yesterday afternoon by attorney Bill Robins of the Santa Monica-based firm of Robins Cloud LLP along with other plaintiff law firms, and seeks coordination before a single judge in the Complex Department of the San Francisco Superior Court.
Robins filed the first lawsuit arising out of the Wine Country Fires on October 17, 2017 on behalf of the Harvell family (San Francisco County Superior Court – case #CGC-17-561937). To date, ten law firms have filed nine lawsuits against PG&E involving 107 plaintiffs.
The JCCP vehicle has become increasingly commonplace in California for management of mass torts involving large numbers of plaintiffs, and was utilized in prior cases against PG&E arising out of the San Bruno explosion as well as the Butte Fire. In his Declaration in support of the Petition, Robins says, “thousands of plaintiffs are anticipated to bring claims for personal injury, death, real and/or property damages against PG&E.”
As a result of this filing, Robins and the other plaintiff law firms are asking that one judge be appointed because it would allow for coordination of discovery and efficient use of judicial resources while at the same time eliminating duplicate or inconsistent decisions in the lawsuits.
The Harvell lawsuit and other lawsuits allege that PG&E knew that drought-like conditions existed, resulting in a high fire danger. As such, the potential damage from a fire would likely result in the loss of life, significant destruction to real and personal property and harm to members of the general public, according to the Harvell lawsuit. The complaint further alleges that PG&E failed to properly maintain and to repair power lines while also negligently failing to properly trim, prune and maintain vegetation near their electrical equipment. The lawsuit alleges that the defendant’s electrical equipment came into contact with vegetation as a result of PGE’s wrongful conduct, sparking the Wine Country Fires.
The Harvell family maintains, “through the filing of the lawsuit against PG&E, we can achieve justice and help to prevent this type of destruction from occurring again.”
About Robins Cloud, LLP