Wine Brokers/Négociants Affected by the 2017 Wildfires

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Our law firm currently represents wine brokers and négociants against PG&E for losses sustained due to wildfires. We have tremendous experience navigating tort claims (like business losses from wildfires) through bankruptcies. The PG&E bankruptcy is moving quickly and if you don’t act by October 21, 2019, right after harvest, you will lose any chance for compensation.

While the media has exaggerated the nature of wine damage caused by the 2017 wildfires, we know that when the fires began on October 8 and October 9, 2017, most of the grapes in Napa and Sonoma had already been picked. For the most part, the only grapes left on the vine were Cabernet grapes. Even as to Cabernet varietals, the majority of Cabernet grapes were nowhere near the fire zones and unaffected by smoke taint. So, who was impacted?

Maybe you bought grapes that tested normal but your buyer won’t buy them or will only buy them at a reduced rate. Or maybe the total volume was down and so you simply could not broker as many grapes in 2017 as your ordinarily do. Either way, you may be entitled to compensation from PG&E.

While businesses like yours would typically have the luxury of a wait-and-see-approach, the bankruptcy of PG&E changes everything. Wine businesses who have not filed a proof of claim by October 21, 2019, will be left without any compensation regardless of whether or not the loss was just realized, or possibly even if loss will not be realized until the future. Call us today!

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