UPDATE [September 24, 2021] PG&E has been charged with 11 felonies — including four counts of manslaughter — and 20 misdemeanors by the Shasta County district attorney’s office for the power company’s liability in starting the 2020 Zogg Fire, which killed four people and destroyed at least 200 buildings during the fall of 2020.
The Zogg Fire is one of many recent wildfires started by utility companies in California. Two PG&E wildfire lawsuits over the Dixie Fire are currently being brought against the power company by SSMS. The Zogg Fire settlement could be a precursor of what to expect from the Dixie Fire lawsuits, but every case is unique.
Possible penalties the power company could face for its role in the Zogg Fire include fines, fees, and court-ordered corrective and remedial measures, according to Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had previously determined that the Zogg Fire had been caused by “a pine tree contacting electrical distribution lines owned and operated” by PG&E.
If you or a loved one were affected by the Zogg Fire, contact an experienced fire attorney at Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott to learn about the Zogg Fire compensation, and to understand your legal options.
ZOGG FIRE LAWSUIT AGAINST PG&E
Cal Fire recently published a news release confirming PG&E’s lines were responsible for starting the Zogg Fire. The report confirms what our investigators already suspected: that a tree contacted PG&E’s transmission line located north of Igo in Shasta County, igniting the fire. If true, this establishes PG&E is liable under the inverse condemnation cause of action. It is also very significant for establishing that PG&E was negligent, since properly designed, installed, and maintained lines do not make contact with vegetation.
Very simply, the lawsuit against PG&E for causing the Zogg Fire is based on the failure of PG&E to properly maintain its equipment and to de-energize its power lines when high winds and/or other weather conditions require it.
THE FACTS OF THE ZOGG FIRE
The fire started on September 27, 2020 during a high wind event
The high winds pushed the fire quickly and burned 56,338 acres
The fire is 100% contained as of October 13, 2020
PG&E equipment caused the Zogg Fire in Shasta County after a tree hit a power line
Over 8,224 homes were threatened
The fire destroyed 204 structures
4 people were killed by the fire
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ZOGG FIRE LAWSUIT
What types of damages are you entitled to pursue?
You can pursue any real damages, including wrongful death, loss of property, loss of business, personal injury, and other legal damages. Speak to a California wildfire lawyer from Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott to find out about your case.
How much work will you need to do if you choose to pursue a case?
Very little. You’ll tell your story and supply documentation to your attorney. The attorney will handle it from there. Very few of these cases require anyone to appear in court.
Will you have to pay legal fees?
No. All attorney fees will be paid for by the defendant, in this case, PG&E.
Will your attorney receive any portion of your insurance payout?
No. The attorney is only entitled to a fee if they recover any money from PG&E. If you need an attorney to sue your insurance company, they might get a portion of that payout, but your attorney will discuss that with you.
THE CAUSE OF THE ZOGG FIRE
Cal Fire officials said the Zogg fire, which started September 27, 2020, grew by about 2,000 acres from the day before and had blackened about 81.2 square miles. But, with calmer conditions, there was significantly less growth compared to the previous 24-hour span when the blaze grew by 50% from 31,000 acres. After a very thorough investigation, Cal Fire has determined that the Zogg Fire was caused by a pine tree contacting electrical transmission lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Elcetic (PG&E).
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO RECOVER?
There are several steps you can take to aid in your recovery from the Zogg Fire. These include:
Making an inventory of your belongings and the things you lost in the fire. If you have not already created an inventory for your insurance company, it is a good idea to do so. Our team can help you.
Keep receipts and records related to your displacement. If you were displaced by the fire, you can make a claim to recover those costs. These include costs for food, lodging, essentials, and others.
Don’t put off counseling or other mental health help. Catastrophic events like the Zogg Fire are traumatic and can cause depression, anxiety, PTSD, and/or other behavioral problems in adults and children. It is important to get help to process, heal, and mitigate the long-term effects of these experiences. There are free resources available to affected residents.
Get legal representation. Choose a California wildfire attorney with the proven skills, experience, and track record of success in utility-caused wildfire cases to help you navigate this complex process, help you understand your unique losses, and recover from those responsible for causing your losses.
Contact Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott for a Free Case Evaluation
Has your home or property been damaged by a fire? Have you been physically injured in a fire? Are insurance adjusters trying to take advantage of you during this difficult time? Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott can help you navigate the complexities of your unique fire case, represent your interests, calculate the appropriate value of your damages, and help you recover the fair and full compensation you may need to move forward with your life. Schedule your free case evaluation today.