The PG&E Claims Bar Date in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is getting much closer. Survivors of the California wildfires are strongly urged to contact their attorneys immediately if they have not done so to determine what they need to do, if anything, to ensure their claim is filed before the PG&E claims bar date.
Any claims filed after the bankruptcy claims date will be barred. Anyone filing a claim after the bar date will receive nothing from the PG&E bankruptcy case and will be barred from pursuing any legal action against PG&E related to the Camp Fire, Paradise Fire, Butte County wildfire, and other California wildfires that occurred before the bankruptcy filing.
What Should You Do About the PG&E Claims Bar Date?
If you do not have a California wildfire attorney, contact our office for a free consultation with a California wildfire claims attorney. Call The Thompson Law Office at 1-650-513-6111 for more information about the PG&E claims bar date, PG&E’s bankruptcy case, and other information related to the wildfire injury claims against PG&E.
PG&E Announces a Public Noticing Process Regarding the PG&E Claims Bar Date
In a July 2019 news release, PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced that they would begin a “broad, public noticing process” designed to notify as many creditors and parties in interest as possible of the upcoming Chapter 11 bankruptcy bar date for California wildfire claims.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California set the PG&E Claims Bar Date as October 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
The bankruptcy bar date includes claims against PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company for injuries, damages, and losses related to the Camp Fire, Paradise Fire, Butte County wildfires, and other California wildfires that have been traced to or blamed upon the utility company and its parent company.
The Claims Bar Date in PG&E’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case applies to all individuals, companies, and entities that allege PG&E Corporation or Pacific Gas and Electric Company owed them money as of the filing of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on January 29, 2019.
The news release claims that the corporation and the utility company will use a variety of mediums to communicate the bar date to creditors and parties in interest. Some of the stated forms of communication that are expected to be used to notify creditors of the bankruptcy claims bar date include:
- Direct mail
- Social media ads
- Television ads
- Radio ads
- Print advertisements
- Company news releases
- PG&E operated claim service centers
The company states that it has opened six PG&E Claim Service Centers that will accept creditor claim forms for filing in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
Should I File My Bankruptcy Claim Against PG&E with a Company Claim Service Center?
If you have contacted or retained a California wildfire injury lawyer, contact your attorney immediately before filing a bankruptcy claims notice.
We strongly recommend that you contact a California wildfire injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options. If you do not have an attorney, contact The Thompson Law Office by calling 1-650-513-6111 to speak with an attorney handling PG&E wildfire claims.
HOWEVER, in no case should you wait until after the PG&E claims bar date to file your bankruptcy claim against the company for injuries or losses related to a northern California wildfire. Failing to file a bankruptcy creditor claim before the claims bar date of October 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time results in your claim being forever barred. You will receive nothing for your wildfire claim if you do not file a Proof of Claim before the claims bar date.
If you do not have an attorney and you choose not to retain or consult with a California wildfire attorney, you can obtain a Fire Claimant Proof of Claim Form online. The Fire Claimant Proof of Claim Form includes instructions for completing the form and how to file the proof of claim form before the PG&E claims bar date.
It is wise to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and an additional copy of your proof of claim form and request that the copy is returned to you as proof of receipt. If you file your claim on your own, it is your responsibility to ensure that the claim is properly filed. If anything goes wrong, you may very well lose your right to seek compensation for injuries and losses related to the California wildfires started by PG&E.
Contact a California Wildfire Injury Attorney Now!
Again, we strongly recommend talking to an attorney before submitting your California wildfire bankruptcy claim form in the PG&E Chapter 11 case, if possible. A California wildfire injury lawyer can answer important questions about the Camp Fire, Butte County wildfires, and the 2017 Northern California wildfires.
Questions such as:
What Happens If I Miss the Chapter 11 PG&E Claims Bar Date for Wildfire Injury Claims?
If you miss the October 21 deadline to file a claim, you forfeit your legal right to pursue a personal injury claim or other claim against the corporation and the utility company. PG&E will discharge any liability for 2017 and 2018 wildfire claims not properly filed in the bankruptcy case before the claims bar date.
A bankruptcy discharge means that the debtor (in this case PG&E) cannot be held legally liable for discharged debts. In other words, the debts are “wiped away” for the company. The creditors can never take any further action to collect a discharged debt, including filing personal injury lawsuits related to the discharged debt.
Therefore, if you miss the bankruptcy claims bar debt, you will receive no money for your injuries and losses related to the California wildfires blamed on PG&E. You will bear the total cost of those losses yourself while the company gets away with not paying the debt owed to you. Make sure you file your Proof of Claim form before the bankruptcy claims bar date.
Why Can’t I Continue the Wildfire Lawsuit Filed Against PG&E?
When the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, all civil lawsuits against the company were placed on hold. The bankruptcy automatic stay remains in effect throughout the Chapter 11 case, unless the court modifies it for a good cause. In the case of wildfire claims, we do not expect the court to modify the stay to allow any civil suits to proceed.
Therefore, claims for fire-related losses, regardless of whether the victims filed a civil lawsuit before the Chapter 11 case was filed, are not being handled through the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy filing does not mean that PG&E will not be liable for any damages. It does mean that anyone who has a fire-related injury or loss claim must file that claim before the PG&E claims bar date set by the bankruptcy judge. As stated above, the claim bar date is October 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Failing to file a claim by the bar date works as a waiver of any right to obtain compensation from PG&E for fire-related losses, including losses related to the Camp Fire, Paradise Fire, and Butte County wildfires.
Why Do I need a California Personal Injury Lawyer to File My Claim Against PG&E?
Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws and cases are complicated and confusing. They can be difficult for some attorneys, legal professionals, and other experts to understand.
A mistake on your Proof of Claim form (such as using the incorrect form, overlooking required information, or providing incorrect information) could result in your claim being denied. Not understanding the forms and not being an attorney are not acceptable excuses. A judge could deny your claim instead of allowing you to fix the error.
Bankruptcy proceedings are legal proceedings. You can represent yourself by filing a Fire Claimant Proof of Claim Form, but you need to understand that there could be further hearings, filings, and proceedings that you may need to attend or respond to after your claim is filed. You must also provide evidence to prove that the company owes you the amount of money you state on your claim form. If the evidence you provide is insufficient, the court could deny your claim.
Furthermore, filing a claim in PG&E’s Chapter 11 case does not guarantee you will receive money. The matter may be litigated within the bankruptcy case. It is not uncommon for creditors to be required to fight for their right to receive payment of valid claims filed in bankruptcy cases. PG&E is no different. They may have “set aside” funds to pay wildfire injury claims and for wildfire victims, but that does not mean you automatically receive money when you file your claim before the PG&E claims bar date.
We Handle Filing Your PG&E Bankruptcy Claim Form for You!
When you retain our law firm, we handle every aspect of your injury claim against PG&E for wildfire-related injuries, losses, and damages. Our services including preparing all bankruptcy-related documents and filing those documents with the appropriate offices, including preparing and filing the wildfire proof of claim form in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for PG&E.
Our legal team is working closely with clients to obtain the necessary information to complete the initial proof of claim form, including gathering evidence of losses and damages.
As the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case continues, we continue to monitor the case closely, appear at required bankruptcy hearings, file required bankruptcy documents and forms, and continue to document all damages and losses sustained by our clients. We intend to build strong claims that withstand objections by PG&E or the court. Wildfire survivors can trust that our entire office is diligently fighting to protect the best interests of all wildfire victims and families throughout the PG&E bankruptcy process.
The Thompson Law Office is currently representing claimants in the PG&E bankruptcy case.
Call 1-650-513-6111 for more information and to schedule a free consultation with our California wildfire injury lawyer.
What Should I Do If I Am a California Wildfire Survivor?
If you survived the Northern California wildfires or other wildfires blamed on PG&E, you need to contact a California Camp Fire attorney now. Many of the wildfire victims had already sought legal advice and were working on wildfire lawsuits against PG&E when it announced it was filing for Chapter 11 relief.
However, if you have delayed seeking legal advice, now is the time to change your plan. An attorney who understands the PG&E wildfire claims and the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case can help you determine what you need to do right now to protect your right to pursue a wildfire claim against PG&E.
You may have already been working with one or more insurance companies regarding losses to property. If so, begin gathering as much information as possible from the insurance companies and your personal records to provide to the attorney. Failing to have insufficient documentation is a problem. Having too much information and documentation is always a blessing. Gather everything you can to take with you to the attorney’s office.
If you meet with our California wildfire attorney, he will listen to your story and ask questions until he is comfortable with the facts and circumstances related to your case. Afterward, he will explain the current state of PG&E wildfire claims and what you need to do right now to protect your right to receive compensation for wildfire-related damages and losses. The attorney will also give you step-by-step instructions for what you need to do next.
Because we have experience handling wildfire claims and we understand the process involved in the wildfire claims in this case, you can focus on other issues you may be facing, such as finding permanent housing, returning to work, and locating a permanent school for your child.
The Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Are Fighting for Justice for the California Wildfire Victims and Their Families
We want to help you and your family during this challenging time in your lives. Please contact our office for a free consultation with a California wildfire lawyer. Call 1-650-513-6111 for more information about the PG&E claims bar date and other PG&E news.