Victims of the wildfires that have killed at least 48 people in California are suing local utility provider PG&E Corp Tuesday, alleging the electric company helped cause the blazes through negligent disregard of health and safety regulations.
Three law firms collectively calling themselves “Northern California Fire Lawyers” filed a suit seeking damages in San Francisco County Superior Court. It alleges the company’s failure to properly maintain its equipment “contributed to the cause of the ‘Camp Fire’,” according to Reuters.
PG&E shares dropped 14 percent Tuesday after the company disclosed that it had submitted an “electric incident report” to local officials after an equipment malfunction on November 8 in the same area where the fire was first reported 15 minutes later.
Although investigators have not yet determined the cause of the blaze, the utility provider has said the cost of the damages exceeds its insurance, and would seriously damage its financial standing.
Investigators have not determined a cause for the ongoing Camp Fire, which has consumed 130,000 acres of Butte County and destroyed over 7,600 homes. Hundreds of people are still missing. The fire is the deadliest in California's history.