If you have a claim against PG&E for damages arising from the Camp Fire, Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire, or other California wildfires, you need to take note of the claims bar date set by the Bankruptcy Court in PG&E proceedings. The bankruptcy judge has ordered that October 21, 2019, is the last day to file Proofs of Claim in the PG&E Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for wildfire claims. Claims filed after that date will not be considered.
Do not wait to contact an attorney to discuss your claim. Time is not on your side! Call 1-650-513-6111 now for a free consultation with an experienced California wildfire lawsuit attorney.
What Does This Mean for California Wildfire Victims?
If you sustained damages or losses, including personal injury claims and wrongful death claims, you must file a Proof of Claim in PG&E’s bankruptcy case to recover compensation for your losses. When the utility company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in January 2019, wildfire lawsuits against the company were placed on hold pending the bankruptcy action. No new lawsuits can be filed against the company during the bankruptcy action without bankruptcy court approval. In other words, your only recourse now is through the bankruptcy court.
While the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing does not absolve PG&E from liability for causing the California wildfires, it does limit the actions victims may take to recover compensation for damages. Victims must now work through the bankruptcy process to seek compensation for losses. While this sounds unfair, the corporation is now protected by bankruptcy laws. The wildfire survivors and victims must fight within the bankruptcy courts to demand fairness in how their claims are treated within the proposed Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.
How Does Chapter 11 Work?
A Chapter 11 bankruptcy case is a reorganization of debts. Chapter 11 is available to individuals and business entities. In a Chapter 11 case, the debtor, referred to as a debtor-in-possession or DIP, retains control over the assets and income of the business. The DIP uses those assets and income to continue operating the business while it develops and files a plan of reorganization. While under bankruptcy court protection, creditors are barred from taking actions to collect a debt, including filing lawsuits or continuing lawsuits, without bankruptcy court permission.
The plan of reorganization sets forth the company’s proposal for reorganizing its debts. The reorganization may include reducing debts; voiding contracts and leases; and, surrendering collateral. Each class of creditors receives slightly different treatment. For instance, secured creditors may receive full payment or payment that equals the value of their collateral. Priority unsecured creditors, such as government entities, receive full payment for their debts while general unsecured creditors may only receive a percentage of the money owed to them.
Creditors must vote whether to approve the plan, and the bankruptcy court must approve the final plan. However, a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization may be approved by the court without unanimous approval by creditors. Therefore, some creditors may cast their votes in opposition to the plan, but the plan could still be confirmed.
Once the Chapter 11 plan is confirmed, the company continues making payments under the terms of the plan until the plan is complete. Depending on the size and term of the plan, it could take years for a debtor to complete a Chapter 11 plan. Because developing and approving a Chapter 11 plan is a complex process, it could also take a year or more for a debtor to obtain bankruptcy court approval for a proposed Chapter 11 plan.
What Should California Wildfire Victims Do to Protect Their Legal Rights?
If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim against PG&E for any of the California wildfires, you should consult with a California wildfire attorney immediately, including the Camp Wildfire, Paradise Wildfire, and Butte County wildfires.
The Thompson Law Firm is working with Camp Fire victims and survivors of other Northern California wildfires to gather information and documentation of the enormous devastation and losses caused by PG&E’s negligence and wrongdoing. We are working to ensure that wildfire victims are not pushed aside during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
Attorney Thompson represents one of the 11 individuals on the TCC (Tort Claimants Committee), so he is involved in the bankruptcy hearings and process. He is dedicated to making sure that a spotlight remains on the victims and families who were injured and suffered great loss because of the wildfires. We do not want these losses to be overshadowed in the Chapter 11 case by the interests of large corporations and Wall Street investors.
You can help! Add your voice to the growing number of wildfire victims who are standing up in bankruptcy court and demanding that their voices are heard. The more claims that are filed in bankruptcy court by wildfire victims, the stronger their voice will be when it is time to present arguments in favor of fair treatment of wildfire claims.
It is best to consult an experienced California wildfire attorney before you submit your Proof of Claim to the bankruptcy court. It is imperative that your claim is complete and accurate to give you the best chance of recovering the maximum amount for your losses and damages. However, time is not on your side. You must file your Proof of Claim with the bankruptcy court before the deadline. Therefore, contacting a California wildfire injury attorney immediately is crucial. A delay could harm your ability to receive compensation for your damages.
The Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Are Fighting for the Rights of Camp Fire Victims and Their Families
Our legal team is continually monitoring PG&E’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case as we continue to prepare claims and work with clients to protect their legal rights. We are accepting new clients and urge you to contact our office to speak with a wildfire claims attorney.
Call 1-650-513-6111 for a free consultation with an experienced Camp Fire claims attorney. We are accepting clients who have claims related to any of the wildfires connected to PG&E, including the wildfires throughout Northern California.