Utility Company Sued for Allegedly Causing Death of California Homeowner in a Wildfire
Southfield, MI (Law Firm Newswire) December 9, 2015 – Owen Goldsmith died in his home on Sept. 9, 2015, in the Butte Fire in California. He was 82-years old. His surviving family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against PG&E and two tree cutting services, vegetation management company ACRT Trees and Trees Inc.
Goldsmith’s two daughters, Karen Goldsmith and Stephanie Mathes, allege that PG&E put the retired Air Force staff sergeant in a situation where he felt he had no escape. The wildfire that took Goldsmith’s life burned more than 800 homes and building to the ground and consumed over 70,000 acres of land. It was a horrific disaster.
PG&E suggested Owen Goldsmith did not pay attention to evacuation orders. He died in his home, a place his daughters called his refuge. However, the plaintiff’s attorney states that whether he heeded the evacuation order or not is irrelevant, and that the power company put him in a situation where he felt there was no escape.
The statement of claim alleges PG&E did not properly inspect their electrical lines and keep on top of the adjacent vegetation that was often seen encroaching on the lines. In this case, the attorneys cite a drooping tree that fell on a 12,000-volt power line causing a shower of sparks and resulting in the Butte fire.
PG&E has a statutory obligation to protect its power lines by maintaining the nearby vegetation, including trees. This is not the first fire that PG&E has been held responsible for over the last several years.
Funeral and burial costs are very high these days and the daughters may have found themselves in a bind trying to pay for everything and still keep current on their own bills. The ideal solution may be to fill out an application for litigation funding.
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Plaintiffs are not subjected to a credit check, do not pay any upfront money, make monthly payments, nor do they need to be working when they apply and may keep the lawsuit loan is their case loses in court. “It’s an appealing option for some,” added Monroe, “but it may not be for everyone. It’s definitely worth checking out and spending some time talking to litigation funding representatives to get fully informed of the benefits.”Learn more at http://www.litigationfundingcorp.com