You have electrical wires at high voltages and they can catch things on fire.
Wait - are you saying that fire due to power lines is a resonable and expected risk you take on when you have a house with electricity? Is that your argument? If you think that's a reasonable expectation, well, we don't live in the same realities. Power lines don't inherently cause fires. If they do cause a fire (and that is not yet established as a fact) then something went wrong. Sometimes things go wrong and it's not necessarily a matter of fault. But, sometimes things go wrong because someone was negligent. Like when this same power company was negligent in 2010 in managing their gas pipeline and they blew up a neighborhood and killed 8 people. Oh, wait, I forgot - when you have gas to your house you just automatically assume the risk that your supplier isn't going to properly maintain the infrastructure and could blow you up. That's just shiza that happens and who can say who's at fault?
As for your question on insurance, I havent' specifically looked into who is suing but if I were going to guess, I'd guess it's a combination of groups, including:
- people who lost more than their insurance coverage threshold or weren't insured (renters may not carry renters insurance, as an example)
- people who were injured or the families of people killed who are suing over injuries or loss of life
- municipalities are probably suing them too as these fires destroyed infrastructure, government buildings, and that's before you get into the cost of fighting the fire. Oh, and as an aside, the people who live in those towns have the wonderful benefit of paying twice for this fire - first with whatever they lost personally, and then in the form of taxes they pay into a town that may no longer exist. Lucky them.
- business entities who basically lost their businesses. They can get insurance money for loss of buildings and materials and what not, but what happens to your loss of livilhood?
- the insurance carriers themselves - when your carrier pays out your claim you subrogate your rights to them and they now have your right to sue as an injured party. They specifically have legal standing to file law suits for your loss since they paid out the claim. And, those insurance companies are going to pay out hundreds of millions each.
Again, I haven't looked at the law suits but I strongly suspect that Mrs. and Mrs. homeowner is a small percentage of the total dollars that people are asking for. I'd bet that my bottom 3 groups are the vast majority of the dollars being sought. And, if PG&E were negligent in maintaining their infrastructure and that caused the fire, why shouldn't they be footing the bill - or as much of it as they can - for all that damage? Why should it come off the backs and out of the pockets of pepole who didn't cause the fire? Because "shiza" happens? Seriously, that's about the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.