SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following the devastating Northern California wildfires that left thousands of families without homes, killed as many as 144 victims, razed the town of Paradise, and devastated communities throughout Northern California, PG&E — the utility company responsible for starting the blazes — filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the claims against the company by fire victims were consolidated in bankruptcy court.
After requesting and obtaining a “BAR Date” to limit the time during which wildfire reimbursement claims can be filed against it, PG&E has now mailed out thousands of legal notices to fire victims. However, these legal notices may be confusing to some recipients. By completing these forms incorrectly, or filling out the wrong form, a fire victim may inadvertently reduce or eliminate their ability to recover some types of damages.
Michael Kelly, a partner at Walkup, Melodia, Schoenberger & Kelly, warned about confusion surrounding PG&E’s legal notices stating, “It appears that PG&E is confusing some victims with its recent mailing campaign which included the wrong forms.”
The fire litigation firm of Walkup Melodia has released a short guide for fire victims, featuring "5 Things You Should Know About PG&E's Legal Notice.” It urges victims to 1) let their attorney fill out questions on the form if they are represented by an attorney; 2) if they are going to answer without an attorney, then to seek clarification and not answer questions they do not fully understand; 3) if they do not already have an attorney, contact the fire litigation team of Walkup Melodia before completing the form to get questions answered; 4) make sure the form is completed correctly, as a completed Proof of Claim will affect the recovery a victim has against PG&E, and 5) ensure that the filing meets the strict “BAR Date” filing deadline of October 21, 2019.
In order to recover, fire victims must file their claim by October 21, 2019. This is a strict deadline with no flexibility. Victims who file after the October 21st deadline will not be entitled to compensation.
The team of fire lawyers at Walkup Melodia is available to help fire victims file their claims properly by the October 21st deadline to ensure they receive the recovery they are entitled to. Individuals who have lost their homes or property, or do not have adequate funds to rebuild, can contact the firm at 415-981-7210 before filing a claim.