Updated: January 29, 2019
Status: Ongoing Case
On September 10, 2018, Labaton Sucharow was appointed lead counsel in a securities class action lawsuit against PG&E Corporation, and certain current and former PG&E executives, related to widespread wildfires that devastated Northern California in October 2017 (“North Bay Fires”). The action asserts violations of Sectios 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
On December 14, 2018, the plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint that alleged that defendants made a series of false and misleading statements from April 29, 2015 through June 8, 2018 to conceal the company’s lax wildfire safety practices, including its numerous and widespread violations of California safety regulations for power lines. On January 29, 2019, PG&E filed for bankruptcy, which has the effect of staying the Action against the Company but not against the Individual Defendants.
The North Bay Fires burned approximately 249,000 acres, destroyed 8,898 structures, and killed 44 people across nine counties, resulting in damages estimated at more than $17 billion. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protecion (“Cal Fire”) has completed 17 investigations into the cause of the fires, and found in all 17 that the fires were caused by PG&E equipment. Cal Fire also determined that 11 of these fires evidenced violations of California safety regulations, contradicting the defendants’ false representations of compliance with those regulations. As the truth regarding PG&E’s inadequate safety measures came to light, the company’s share price dropped significantly.
The case is In re PG&E Corporation Securities Litigation, No. 18-cv-03509 (N.D. Cal.). Labaton Sucharow represents lead plaintiff the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico. The defendants are PG&E Corporation, Anthony Earley, Geisha Williams, Nickolas Stavropoulos, Julia Kane, Christopher Johns, and Patrick Hogan.