2017 North Bay Fires
Sean Higgins, a partner at Andrews & Thornton, was appointed a seat on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee of the coordinated proceedings for the cases of all individuals suffering loss from the fires that raged in the North Bay in October 2017. In the aftermath of the devastating fires that burned at least 245,000 acres, killed 43 people, and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures, many residents are looking for answers. Since these devastating fires started, the attorneys at Andrews & Thornton have been fighting to help victims find closure and get their lives back on track. We represent individuals as well as vineyards and wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
Our firm sent two noted fire investigators to Northern California to investigate the cause of the fires in the earliest days of the blazes before the embers had even cooled. Tragically, the Camp Fire would start just a year later, forcing PG&E into bankruptcy and channeling the claims in the coordinated North Bay Fires case into the bankruptcy proceeding.
2018 Camp Fire
The Camp Fire is the deadliest fire in California state history with 85 victims. In November 2018, the Camp Fire devastated the towns of Concow, Paradise and other parts of Butte County. The worst affected areas saw nearly 80% of all structures completely destroyed by the blaze. Like the 2017 North Bay Fires, the Camp Fire was started by PG&E’s power lines. The enormous liability from the Camp Fire ultimately forced PG&E into bankruptcy. Andrews & Thornton again took a leadership role in the PG&E bankruptcy, representing a creditor on the Tort Claimants’ Committee and closely following the liability and damages build-up to secure compensation for the victims of the fires.
The bankruptcy plan would eventually provide for $13.5 billion set aside specifically to compensate fire victims. Andrews & Thornton continues to represent fire victims in connection with the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire, obtaining the compensation needed to get their lives back on track after the horror of the firestorms.
Fire Victim Trust
Andrews & Thornton is proud to have been selected to represent the PG&E Fire Victim Trust as litigation counsel. Andrews & Thornton is working on behalf of the Trust to recover additional money to compensate fire victims by pursuing other parties that contributed to the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. As advocates for fire victims, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to recover additional funds for these claims—even years later, many are struggling to finish repairs and rebuilds and achieve some sense of closure from the fires.