Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against PG&E Corporation (“PG&E” or the “Company”) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Northern District of California, and docketed under 18-cv-03545, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons other than Defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of PG&E between April 29, 2015 and June 8, 2018, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”). Plaintiff seeks to recover compensable damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
PG&E is a holding company that holds interests in energy based businesses. The Company’s leading operating subsidiary is Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a public utility operating in northern and central California that provides electricity and natural gas distribution, electricity generation, procurement, and transmission, and natural gas procurement, transportation, and storage. The Company generates revenues mainly through the sale and delivery of electricity and natural gas to customers.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) PG&E had failed to maintain electricity transmission and distribution networks in compliance with safety requirements and regulations promulgated under state law; (ii) consequently, PG&E was in violation of state laws and regulations; (iii) PG&E’s noncompliant electricity networks could foreseeably cause wildfires in California; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about the Company’s business and operations were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On June 8, 2018, after the market close, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection issued a press release announcing the cause of twelve wildfires in Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake, and Napa Counties involving equipment owned by PG&E.
The press release stated that CAL FIRE Investigators had determined “that 12 Northern California wildfires in the October 2017 Fire Siege were caused by electric power and distribution lines, conductors and the failure of power poles,” and referred “eight of the 12 fires – Sulphur, Blue, Norrbom, Partrick, Pythian, Adobe, Pocket and Atlas” to the county District Attorney’s offices for review “due to evidence of alleged violations of state law.”
On June 9, 2018, Bloomberg published an article entitled “PG&E May Face Criminal Charges After Probe of Deadly Wildfires.” The article reported, in part, that following an investigation into the causes of wildfires “that altogether killed 44 people, consumed thousands of homes and racked up an estimated $10 billion in damages” in October 2017, California’s fire agency “found evidence of alleged violations of law by PG&E in connection with” the fires. Specifically, the state’s investigation found “that PG&E equipment caused at least 12 of the wine country blazes.”
Following this news, PG&E’s share price fell $1.69, or 4.08%, to close at $39.76 on June 11, 2018, the following trading day.