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Memories of a 71,000 acre fire are still fresh for many of us here in Northern California. The fire which occurred in Calaveras County has been called the seventh most destructive wildfire in the history of the state, and it destroyed 475 homes. Unfortunately, the life of an elderly resident was also claimed.

Many residents have filed lawsuits against one of California’s largest utility providers.

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. 

The blaze began on September 9th near Butte Mountain Road, an area where many retired folk and snowbirds live. One of those individuals was 82 year old music teacher and composer, Owen Goldsmith. The retired Air Force staff sergeant passed away in his home in Mountain Ranch because of the fires. His daughters are now suing utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and a tree trimming service, in the San Francisco Superior Court for their father’s wrongful death.

Tree Blamed For Blaze

It is believed that a tree coming in contact with a power line caused the ravaging fire. Once the wildfire was contained, questions arose as to why a tree was allow to come in contact with the PG&E maintained power line. According to state regulations, the utility company is required to keep their power lines clear of trees and other vegetation – with clearances ranging from 18 inches to ten feet.

Understanding Wrongful Death

Here in California, wrongful death is a situation where one person passes away due to the wrongful acts or negligence of another person or entity. It is a law suit which may be filed by:

  • The deceased individual’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • The deceased individual’s children
  • Financial dependants (putative spouses, children, stepchildren and parents)

If there is no surviving person, then the suit may be filed by anyone who would or could be entitled to proceeds of an estate left by that deceased person.

What To Expect From A Wrongful Death Claim

There are a number of damages which the attorneys at the Redkey Gordon Law Corp have been able to secure for those who have endured the wrongful death of a loved one. These damages include: 

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost income (and loss of anticipated financial support)
  • Loss of love, attention, affection, moral support, guidance and community

Before filing a wrongful death case with the courts, we invite those in California to contact us at Redkey Gordon Law Corp for a complimentary initial consultation.

Arrange to speak with one of our experienced attorneys today at (209) 267-1685.

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