Wildfires are not new to California. However, recent fires cost more lives and property than any in history, leaving dozens dead and hundreds of thousands of acres scorched. While investigators are still working to narrow down the cause of the blaze, some residents have already begun a complex civil litigation holding PG&E Corp. liable for the destruction.
The residents who watched their homes burn to the ground and some who lost friends and relatives claim the power company spent more money on public relations and advertising than it did ensuring the safe operation of its equipment. In the past several years, PG&E equipment was linked to numerous blazes. While the company promises to assess the damages and address safety concerns, the lawsuit claims PG&E has spent $37 million dollars in advertising to restore its image following the previous fires.
PG&E claims the advertising money comes from shareholders and not from customer payments. However, those involved in the lawsuit feel the ads portraying the company as safe and reliable are insulting to grieving families who lost loved ones in the recent fires. They want the court to block PG&E from spending any more money on ads. In addition to this lawsuit, the company's investors have expressed concern that PG&E may face billions of dollars in claims for damages.
Facing a giant such as a power company may seem intimidating to the average citizen of California. However, an overwhelming tragedy often calls for a passionate response, and complex civil litigation is often the most effective way to seek justice. In these cases, it is wise to have the assistance of a skilled attorney from the earliest stages of the process.