California Fire Lawyers File Petition to Expedite Justice for Victims

SONOMA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the California Fire Lawyers, including the firms of Baron & Budd, Singleton Law Firm, Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP, and Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire announced that a petition was filed to coordinate all cases arising out of the devastating Northern California fires against Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The filing was made yesterday by California Fire Lawyers, Robins Cloud LLP and Edgar Law Firm petitioning the Judicial Council of California for a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (“JCCP”).

By using a JCCP to hear the cases, one judge would oversee all pre-trial proceedings, eliminating duplication of efforts in the discovery process, wasting judicial resources and reducing the likelihood of inconsistent rulings on individual cases. To date, seven cases, including more than 50 plaintiffs, have been filed against PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric Company for their role in causing what is being termed the Wine Country Fires.

The Wine Country Fires began on October 8th, causing extensive damages in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Solano and Butte Counties. The fires burned more than 220,000 acres, destroyed more than 8,400 structures and claimed the lives of more than 40 people.

“The Northern California fires have many similarities to the BP oil spill in that corporate disasters impact thousands of people,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Scott Summy. “It is important to coordinate the cases of those impacted in front of one judge who can oversee all pre-trial legal rulings and discovery because it eliminates inconsistent rulings and any undue delay in justice.”

“Given the widespread devastation these fires have caused, we have no doubt that there will be thousands of cases filed against PG&E,” said Ed Diab of Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP. “Bringing these cases together in front of one judge is the best way to streamline the legal process for the victims of these devastating fires.”

California Fire Lawyers have successfully leveraged JCCP proceedings to expedite justice for victims of wildfires and other corporate disasters. For example, following the Butte Fire in 2015, the firms led the charge to coordinate more than 2,000 cases into a JCCP, resulting in the successful settlement of hundreds of claims. Additionally, lead attorneys with California Fire Lawyers used a similar process when representing victims of the BP Oil Spill, resulting in more than $1 billion in settlements for victims.

California Fire Lawyers, comprised of Baron & Budd, Singleton Law Firm, Dixon Diab & Chambers LLP and Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire have hired investigators, experts and adjusters to expedite the recovery process for victims. On October 19, the firms opened their Sonoma Office at 418 B Street, First floor, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. To inquire by phone, call 707-533-8128. Other information can be found online at www.CaliforniaFireLawyers.com.

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