CHICO — Two lawsuits were filed against Pacific Gas and Electric Company Monday on behalf of victims of the Camp Fire.
Investigators are still looking into what caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, which has killed at least 86 people. Many survivors blame PG&E.
“I called my mother and I said, ‘There’s a huge fire out here. I don’t know if I’ll see you again or not but I’m going to try,'” fire survivor Louise Howell said.
Howell’s home in Concow is one of the thousands destroyed by the Camp Fire. She hid in the Concow Reservoir as her town burned around her.
“All of the fingers point to PG&E equipment or PG&E lines that may have been involved,” said attorney Frank Pitre.
Thousands of people across Butte County lost everything in the #CampFire. Tonight, some are asking for compensation. On @FOX40 at 5 and 6, we dig into two of the lawsuits filed on behalf of wildfire victims against Pacific Gas and Electric Company. pic.twitter.com/1K8e7J79tj
— Jessica Mensch (@Jessmensch) December 12, 2018
The complaint seeks damages from PG&E, specifically targeting the utility’s advertising. It claims the company paints a “false and misleading picture of safety surrounding their operations.”
“Those are the people from whom we seek to claw back the money spent on advertising that had no purpose other than to say, ‘We’re really good people,'” Pitre said. “Walk the walk. Don’t just talk the talk.”
PG&E issued a statement about the lawsuits:
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our highest priority. The cause of the Camp Fire is still under investigation.
We are aware of lawsuits regarding the Camp Fire. Right now, our focus is on assessing infrastructure, safely restoring power where possible, and helping our customers recover and rebuild.”
Howell and her mother say they hope the money from the suit will help them rebuild their lives.
“I don’t want to hear this on the news ever again,” Howell said. “If it’s their fault, I want them to make it right.”
The other complaint filed against PG&E is on behalf of Chardonnay Telly, whose father died in the Camp Fire.