PG&E asked Judge Curtis Karnow to send the various fire victims’ lawsuits to five different counties. Instead, Judge Karnow decided that all cases that have been filed — or that will be filed — as a result of the Nor Cal fires will be handled by one judge and that judge will be in San Francisco. Judge Karnow concluded that having one judge hear all the cases made the most sense because all the fire cases involve common issues. Those issues include: "PG&E’s policies and practices, including those regarding (a) the electrification of lines during high wind conditions, (b) the sorts of maintenance required of vegetation and of lines and poles; (c) training practices that apply to the multiple PG&E inspectors responsible for various types of maintenance."
The question that remains is who the judge will be. That will be for the California Judicial Council to decide. But if past fire cases are any indication, it is likely the cases will be assigned to the same judge who decided that they should be coordinated in the first place — in this case Judge Karnow.