SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mary Alexander, San Francisco attorney, and family representatives will hold a news conference Thursday Nov 2 at 10 AM outside San Francisco, CA Superior Court (400 McAllister Street, San Francisco CA 94102) announcing three new family filings of suits against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and DOES in the Wine Country Fires, which have killed 43. Alexander will also update media on the "Ghost Ship" fire in Oakland December 2, 2016, nearing its one-year anniversary, in which 36 perished. Alexander is the court designated plaintiffs' liaison counsel in the Ghost Ship Fire Cases.
Alexander, the former President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now called the Association for American Justice, said that her firm is representing 12 victims in the suit against (PG&E) for "gross negligence" for failing to maintain their equipment, having downed lines spark, and allowing vegetation and trees, which they knew to be dangerously located close to the lines, causing the damage to property and lives in Santa Rosa and Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Butte counties.
PG&E has a duty to maintain their electrical equipment so it does not topple, even during windy conditions. The equipment, trees and vegetation are required by law and regulation, including safety standards, to be "inspected and maintained by PG&E." She said the law asserts "a duty to keep vegetation properly trimmed and maintained so as to prevent contact with power lines."
She added that the power company "knew that if the power lines came into contact with or caused electricity to come into contact with vegetation it was probable that a fire would result and that, given the drought conditions, a resulting fire would likely result in the loss of life, significant damage to property, and these Plaintiffs." She emphasized that over the past decade, PG&E has "been subject to numerous fines and penalties" over $1.6 billion for "failure to abide by safety rules and regulations… They have failed and refused to modify their behavior."
On the Ghost Ship case, Alexander added that it was "willful and blatant disregard for safety standards" that caused the deaths of thirty-six, which until the Wine Country Fires were the most who lost lives from fire in the state since the California earthquake of 1906, and remains the single most deaths to a structure in the state's history.
"In both cases, those responsible have not met and have disregarded safety standards required by law. Fire deaths, and beyond that, the pain to families and loved ones, can be prevented by attention to safety standards and the law."
The filing document and access will be provided at the news conference.
Contact: Robert Weiner 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200 [email protected]
SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates and Mary Alexander and Associates