05 Apr Liability at Stake with Pacific Gas & Electric Bankruptcy
In 2018, California suffered a huge number of wildfires and some of which including the Camp Fire wildfire was tied to the the electric company Pacific Gas & Electric. PG&E, reportedly the largest utility company in the state, has filed for bankruptcy due to its role in the wildfires and the lawsuits that are expected to come its way from people whose lives were affected by the disasters.NBC News reported the company is already facing lawsuits from the wildfire that essentially destroyed Paradise, CA and killed about 86 people and destroyed 15,000 homes. In addition to victims of the tragedies going after PG&E, insurance companies are also filing lawsuits against the company due to their equipment that caused the fires.
Liability claims against the utility company has been the topic of conversation in legal circles. PG&E’s bankruptcy makes puts the lawsuits against it on a tougher road. The normal civil legal process may be superseded by the bankruptcy process which can slow things down. The stock price for the company has already fallen due to the lawsuits and with the bankruptcy filings there continues to be a negative impact. There are general articles about the topic what to do when you file a lawsuit against a company filing for bankruptcy. According to the articles, most lawsuits against the company at the time of the filing are suspended and new lawsuits are prevented from being filed. Motions have to be filed if a lawsuit is to move forward against a bankrupt entity, proof has to be substantiated, and the hope is the lawsuit isn’t discharged because if it is then the claim is lost and cannot be filed again. However given the capacity of the destruction caused allegedly by faulty equipment from PG&E, the process may work differently.
Some news report estimate the level of damage caused by the utility is around $30 billion. CNBC, Insurance Journal and Forbes have reported the company does not have the balance sheet to pay out the potential claims. For them to raise the money, they will have to raise rates on their customers and issue corporate bonds in the private market. This will be a long process, but it has already been one for the families affected by the fires. The utility company filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy which means they get to reorganize their balance sheet and remain open. However, for any lawsuit against it the bankruptcy court has to approve of the settlement. That adds a lot of pressure to the plaintiffs whether it be individuals or companies and what they are seeking as compensation.
Picture Credit: CAL OES (Flickr)
RapidFunds provides post-settlement funding to plaintiffs’ attorneys with fees in the settled cases against Pacific Gas and Electric. The company also provides case cost funding to plaintiffs’ attorneys for their current and future case expenses like the PG&E lawsuits. Interested plaintiffs’ attorneys can fill out an application on our website or complete the application here. For more information about post-settlement funding, case cost finance, and the funding process call 888-927-9500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.