A car is seen charred and multiple homes destroyed along Sleepy Hollow Drive in Santa Rosa, Calif. Monday, October 9, 2017 as multiple fires break out across Sonoma, Napa and other North Bay counties. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A car is seen charred and multiple homes destroyed along Sleepy Hollow Drive in Santa Rosa, Calif. Monday, October 9, 2017 as multiple fires break out across Sonoma, Napa and other North Bay counties. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Former SF mayor among plaintiffs in seven new lawsuits against PG&E over North Bay fires

Seven new lawsuits were filed against PG&E Co. Tuesday in three different courts by people whose property was burned in the devastating North Bay wildfires in October.

The lawsuits in San Francisco, Sonoma County and Napa County superior courts accuse the company of negligence in failing to trim brush and inspect and maintain power lines adequately.

Several suits allege the fires were “an inevitable byproduct of PG&E’s willful and conscious disregard for public safety” by creating a situation in which downed power lines and other equipment problems caused or contributed to the fires.

The new cases bring the total of lawsuits filed against PG&E thus far to at least 15.

At least 43 people died in the fires.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said earlier this month that insured losses of homes and other property amounted to $3.3 billion thus far and that the amount was expected to grow.

One of the new lawsuits was filed in San Francisco Superior Court by former Mayor Frank Jordan and Wendy Paskin-Jordan, who lost their home in Santa Rosa.

Their lawsuit says they saw a rapidly moving 75-foot-high wall of flames about one mile from their house at 11:15 p.m. on Oct. 8 and fled in a car with visiting houseguests to San Francisco.

Philippe Langer, owner of Kitoko Vineyards in Napa, sued PG&E in Napa County Superior Court.

Gregory and Christina Wilson, who huddled in the swimming pool of their Santa Rosa home for three hours early in the morning of Oct. 9, sued the utility in San Francisco Superior Court.

The lawsuit says that during that time, they repeatedly ducked under the water to escape the extremely hot air and burning embers, resurfacing for gasps of smoke-filled air. They were hospitalized for about 10 days for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation, their lawsuit says.

In addition to negligence, the lawsuits include claims of creation of public and private nuisance, violation of state utility and public-safety laws, and trespass by the fire. They ask for financial compensation for their losses and an additional punitive award.

PG&E spokesperson Ari Vanrenen said, “We are aware that lawsuits have been filed. There has been no determination on the causes of the fires. We’re focused on doing everything we can to help these communities rebuild and recover.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers and communities we serve. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by these devastating wildfires,” Vanrenen said in a statement.

The California Judicial Council is expected to decide whether all the wildfire lawsuits should be coordinated before a single judge for judicial efficiency. PG&E has urged that the lawsuits should be handled in five groups corresponding to the locations of the fires.Bay Area News

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Server Dragos Pintlie drops off a bay shrimp louie salad for Howard Golden at John’s Grill as indoor dining resumes on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) starts against the Pittsburg Pirates at Oracle Park on September 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner.
Cueto leaves with injury as Giants take series from Reds

A latissimus dorsi injury to Johnny Cueto cast a dark cloud over… Continue reading

Kyle and Kristin Hart shown with their children. Kyle was shot and killed by police three days after the birth of their daughter, Ellie. (Courtesy of the Hart family)
Wife of Redwood City man killed by police files federal lawsuit

Kristin Hart calls for city to improve its response to those suffering a mental health crisis

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

Most Read