Ghost Ship warehouse fire victims' families can now sue PG&E
OAKLAND, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy will no longer protect the utility in the Ghost Ship civil case.
A bankruptcy judge ruled Tuesday that the case is no longer on hold and the victims’ families can sue the utility in state court.
The original lawsuit targeted PG&E, the warehouse owners, the City of Oakland and others, claiming they all bear responsibility for the fire that killed 36 people in December 2016. After PG&E entered bankruptcy, each individual victims’ family was forced to file a claim with the utility. However, this ruling allows the families to go after PG&E in civil court for liability surrounding the warehouse fire.
The civil trial is set for next year but with the planned criminal retrial against the master tenant, Derick Almena, starting in March, the city of Oakland has asked for the civil case be delayed. A judge is scheduled to decide on that motion Wednesday.