Time Running Out For Fire Victims To File Claim With PG&E

Thousands Have Yet to Complete Paperwork Year-End Deadline

Holly Quan
December 30, 2019 - 10:23 am
PG&E crews carry out repair work in Paradise, CA

Holly Quan/KCBS Radio

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The clock is ticking for PG&E fire victims to file claims related to wildfires in Wine Country and Butte County in recent years. There are still thousands of people who are eligible to file paperwork before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline. 

The December 31 cutoff is actually an extension from October 21, when a federal judge appointed a Bay Area accountant to help find more victims.

The destruction of a home, personal injury, business interruption, lost wages, and emotional distress caused by a fire are all applicable reasons to file a claim.

At stake is part of a $13.5 billion settlement established in early December.

Trying to notify everyone impacted, however, hasn't been easy. PG&E says it sent out emails and claim forms to over 6 million customers. They’ve also taken out newspaper and broadcast ads.

In the town of Paradise, which was incinerated by the Camp Fire in 2018, flyers were plastered onto pizza boxes and tables were set out at church food drives, but the outreach efforts are half the battle. Helping impacted residents navigate the online process is a part of the work too. It was reported that some elderly victims were reluctant to try.

Paradise Councilman Mike Zuccolillo says a lot of people sold their lots, took their money and left already, but not all residents have given up hope.

Jody Jones, mayor of Paradise during the Camp Fire, told KCBS Radio that the town is rebuilding and people are coming back.

“We actually have 26 families that have occupancy permits,” Jones said. “Six hundred twenty six building permits have been applied for, 440 issued. We had 47 families apply for building permits last week alone. It’s fabulous.”

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