PG&E may be responsible for the death of 85 people that were killed in a fire caused by a sparking transmission line. Documentation obtained under the Freedom of Information Act proves that PG&E chose not to replace 49 electrical line towers that the company knew were faulty.

PG&E supplies electricity and natural gas to 16 million people across the U.S. For years, PG&E knew that parts of its 18,500-mile transmission system were dangerously outdated. The company was aware that some of their high-power voltage lines could fail and spark wildfires, yet they did not make the necessary updates.

Did PG&E neglect safety?

PG&E has been criticized for its maintenance program for years. Critics claim that PG&E has been delaying improvements for far too long. Last month, PG&E decided to retire the powerline that sparked the fire stating that too many repairs needed to be made.

The Wall Street Journal found that PG&E had paid $5 billion in dividends before filing for bankruptcy instead of fixing transmission lines and towers and trimming trees. The judge overseeing PG&E’s federal probation issued an order of response to the claim of negligence.

The company is currently working to prioritize the most important repairs as wildfire season quickly approaches.

Next steps

PG&E has hired representation for all legal matters involving government investigations. The utility company is under investigation for allegedly violating state laws and regulations in connection with the wildfire that killed 85 people and destroyed more than 18,000 properties.

If your company is facing liability issues, speak with an experienced attorney. Preserving evidence and acting promptly may be key in helping your case.