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The 2015 Butte Fire burned 77,000 acres and destroyed 500 homes.  The court determined long ago, as did Cal Fire, that PG&E was responsible for causing that fire.  After more than 3 years of litigation, PG&E agreed to pay at least some of the most desperate victims what is due them.  PG&E was supposed to make those payments today.  But it didn’t.  Instead, it is reneging.   Is PG&E holding on to the money so it can instead pay Geisha Williams, the CEO who was in charge when the file started, her $2.5 million bonus?

After PG&E was convicted of various felonies in connection with the San Bruno explosion, it was placed on probation.  The judge overseeing that probation believes that the leading cause of fires such as the Camp Fire is the fact that PG&E does not insulate its power lines.  ABC7 asks me about the latest of Judge Alsup’s orders.


ABC7 asks Mike Danko about PG&E’s Uninsulated Wires and the Risk of Wildfires

PG&E says that its bankruptcy will be in the best interests of its wildfire victims.  Not true.  PG&E’s only motivation in filing for bankruptcy is to protect shareholder value by keeping as much money as possible out of the hands of its victims and in the corporate coffers.

KRON4 Asks Mike Danko About PG&E’s Bankruptcy Notice

Last week we filed a new lawsuit setting forth our latest evidence that it was a PG&E equipment failure — in particular the failure of a piece of hardware that secured an insulator on PG&E’s 100 year-old transmission tower near the Poe dam — that started the Camp Fire.  As discussed in this post, the lawsuit was covered by both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chico-Enterprise Record.  While PG&E was still claiming that it was too soon to say what caused the fire, our lawsuit zeroed in on the exact source of the ignition.

Now PG&E all but admits that our allegations are true.  Mirroring our filing, PG&E just announced publicly that “A suspension insulator supporting a transposition jumper had separated from an arm on the tower” and that a “c hook” used to support the insulator broke away, allowing an electrified wire to contact the metal tower.

Of course, as we told the Chico-Enterprise Record, if PG&E had properly installed, maintained, and inspected its hardware, it would not have failed in the winds of November 8, and the fire beneath the tower never would have started. Still waiting for PG&E to admit that part of our suit.

As both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chico Enterprise-Record reported, the lawsuit we filed on December 7 outlines our new evidence concerning the cause of the Camp Fire.  An insulator on the 100-year old Pulga high voltage transmission tower failed, allowing an uninsulated cable to come into contact with the tower’s steel structure.  Once that happened, electrical arcing produced molten metal.  The molten metal dropped into the vegetation, igniting the fire.

PG&E’s entire system is old and decrepit, and instead of inspecting and maintaining it in a prudent fashion, they simply let it run until it fails and then fix it,” said Mike Danko, one of the attorneys involved in the suit. “Most of the time, you get away with that. … But you don’t get away with it in the situation that we have with the drought and the dry conditions.

Last week we filed our second complaint against PG&E on behalf of Camp Fire victims. The new complaint lays out additional evidence concerning the failure of PG&E’s 115kv transmission circuit. You can read the new complaint here.  The complaint includes this picture of the failed tower.

Image from second camp fire complaint


Residents are asking whether they are included in the Camp Fire “class action” automatically.  The answer is no.

The Camp Fire Lawsuit against PG&E is not a class action.  To join the lawsuit, you must sign up with a lawyer.  Your claim will be resolved individually, based on the damages you actually suffered.