Almost exactly a year to the day after the deadly and destructive North Bay Fires swept across broad swathes of northern California’s famed wine country, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) issued on October 9 a news release summarizing its findings as to the cause of the so-called Cascade Fire that struck Yuba County beginning on October 8, 2017.
On September 21, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB901, a highly controversial bill aimed at addressing multi-billion-dollar utility giant PG&E’s potential financial liability over the catastrophic North Bay fires of October 2017.
Although Cal Fire, the state agency tasked with investigating wildfires, released its findings as to over a dozen of the October 2017 North Bay Fires months ago, the agency has yet to complete reports covering the two most destructive blazes, the so-called Coffey Park and Tubbs fires.
Saying that that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals erred in overturning a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against it, a Texas nursing home has appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court.
Just days after widespread media reporting that efforts to craft a legislative response to PG&E’s liability over the October 2017 North Bay Fires had failed, lawmakers in Sacramento passed on August 31 wide-reaching fire-related legislation.
Amidst the lobbying onslaught taking place in Sacramento and the PR battles raging across the state, those looking for a straight-forward statement of PG&E’s strategy for recouping potential financial losses related to its role in the North Bay Fires of October 2017 need look no further than the company’s most recent financial disclosures.
As of July 20, 2018, PG&E was “aware of approximately 270 complaints on behalf of at least 2,900 plaintiffs related to the [October 2017] Northern California wildfires, six of which seek to be certified as class actions.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has revived the lawsuit of an Illinois woman who sued the assisted-living facility at which she was a resident for allegedly failing to stop homophobic abuse leveled against her by other residents.
A state appellate panel in Georgia has voided a settlement agreement between Nationwide Insurance and a car-accident victim.
In the appeal of a case previously reported on by TheLawFirm.com, the California Supreme Court ruled on August 27, 2018 that a lower court had acted properly in allowing Toyota to present evidence of other automakers.
Less than a week after lawmakers apparently had abandoned hopes of addressing PG&E’s liability for the October 2017 North Bay Fires during the current legislative period, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on August 24 that elected representatives in Sacramento were again circulating a proposal seeking to address the utility’s financial exposure for fires sparked by its equipment.
In yet another sign of the widespread fallout facing Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) over its role in the devastating October 2017 North Bay Fires, the state of New Mexico’s largest public pension fund has sued the utility giant over $4 million in alleged investment losses related to the disaster.
In an op-ed piece published in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 12, 2018, well-known consumer advocate Erin Brockovich joined the chorus of voices opposing a proposal by California Governor Jerry Brown that opponents have labeled a “bailout” of utility giant PG&E over its role in the October 2017 North Bay Fires.
Following widespread criticism that painted proposed legislation as a “bailout” of utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), California lawmakers have dropped efforts to push through Governor Jerry Brown’s recommended solution for addressing the billions of dollars in potential liability the company faces over the devastating North Bay Fires of October 2017, the Associated Press reported August 18.
In another victory against nursing home operators seeking to shield themselves from liability behind binding arbitration agreements, a California appellate panel has ruled that an arbitration agreement with an 81-year-old resident was invalid because he lacked the capacity to enter into the agreement at the time of his signing, affirming a lower-court ruling.
Facing a potentially existential financial crisis over liabilities relating to the October 2017 North Bay Fires, California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has thrown its full support behind a new state bill that would allow the privately-owned company to sell state-authorized bonds to raise funds with which to compensate fire victims.
In February 2016, 14-year-old Jonathan Hernandez attended a family memorial for his 18-year-old sister, who had recently passed away due to illness.
With the August 31 end of its two-year legislative session fast approaching, California state lawmakers are racing to complete legislation aimed at addressing liability issues stemming from the catastrophic North Bay Fires of October 2017.
Consider the following real-life scenario:
A son enters into a contract for deed under which he will ultimately take ownership of his father’s land. In furtherance of the contract, the son puts money and labor toward improvements to the property and pays an agreed-upon sum, ultimately receiving title to the land.
Citing inappropriate profit-maximization practices that put nursing-home residents at risk, two northern California law firms have brought class-action lawsuits against Brius Healthcare Services, affiliated company Rockport Administrative Services, and Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz, alleging systemic violations of nursing-home staffing requirements that infringed on the rights of residents, the Eureka Times Standard reported July 28, 2018.
In response to class-action lawsuits brought against 15 California nursing homes, the defendant facility operators are pushing back hard against allegations of understaffing, as well as engaging in an effort to disparage the reputation of one of the main attorneys behind the lawsuits.
A California state assemblyman representing Hayward who introduced a pro-PG&E bill aimed at helping the utility giant recover disaster costs from customers has a son who works for the company, the San Francisco Chronicle reported July 21, 2018.
Citing a “new normal” of California climate that will result in a yearlong fire season, former commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission Mike Florio has thrown his hat in the ring as an advocate for AB33, a pro-PG&E bill aimed at helping the company deal with the financial fallout from the devastating North Bay Fires of October 2017.
As California utility giant PG&E continues to face potentially existential financial liability over its role in the catastrophic October 2017 North Bay Fires, Sacramento lawmakers are considering multiple pieces of legislation aimed at revising state liability laws and consumer protections related to the catastrophic wildfires that many consider likely to represent a “new normal” for the state.
In a case that could have ramifications for PG&E’s potential liability in the 2017 North Bay Fires, a California court of appeals reversed a lower court decision that potentially would have left the company vulnerable to punitive damages for the so-called Butte fire that took place in 2015. In a unanimous decision issued Tuesday, July 10, 2018, a three-judge panel unanimously found that nothing on the record would justify the imposition of punitive damages against PG&E over the Butte fire.
As northern California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) and its parent company continue to face billions of dollars in potential liability over the devastating North Bay Fires of October 2017, California lawmakers are considering changes to the ways in which the law holds utilities accountable for wildfires sparked by their equipment.
Late in the night of October 8, 2017, as massive wildfires spurned on by gusting winds raced across northern California at a horrifying rate, elderly residents at the Villa Capri nursing home were scrambling to evacuate. The multistory facility operated by Oakmont Senior Living was responsibility for the care and housing of approximately 70 residents, many of whom suffered from conditions requiring intensive assistance, such as dementia and limited mobility.
Following a series of scathing reports filed by the state authority tasked with investigating the causes of the devastating October 2017 northern California wildfires, PG&E announced at a press conference on June 21, 2018 that it will take a $2.5 billion charge in the current fiscal quarter in anticipation of costs associated with the North Bay blazes.
With each new damning report issued by California state investigators over the causes of the devastating wildfires that struck Northern California in October 2017, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) continues to lose important political support in Sacramento, backing it may need to survive if the 112-year-old privately-owned utility is found legally responsible for billions of dollars in damages and dozens of deaths.
In a report released Friday, June 8, 2018, California state investigators determined that privately-owned utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) was responsible for at least 12 of the Northern California wildfires that made up the devastating North Bay Fires of October 2017.
Following the release of the first Cal Fire reports examining the causes of the devastating October 2017 northern California fires—which found evidence in at least three of four instances that PG&E had failed to comply with state law regarding the removal of trees and branches from around power lines—experts are beginning to speculate openly about PG&E’s ability to survive the financial fallout from the disaster.
With the privately-owned California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) facing potentially devastating financial losses related to the northern California fires of October 2017, state lawmakers are grappling for ways to address the situation, made all the more complicated by PG&E’s already dubious safety record.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) violated California law by failing to clear trees and other vegetation a safe distance from power lines, resulting in at least three of the deadly North Bay Fires of October 2017. Such is the damning conclusion outlined in a new Cal Fire report released Friday, May 25.
On May 18, a state superior court judge in San Francisco denied PG&E’s efforts to have plaintiffs’ inverse condemnation claims dismissed from a collection of consolidated lawsuits over the privately-owned utility’s role in the devastating North Bay Fires of October 2017. The decision, which may prove temporary pending an appellate court decision on the same issue in a different case, potentially could expose PG&E to billions of dollars in additional financial obligations to the fires’ victims.