Articles by Paul Elias

Utility Sued by Relatives of Oakland Warehouse Fire Victims

Relatives of 18 of the 36 people who died in the Oakland, Calif. “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire added Pacific Gas & Electric utility as a defendant in their wrongful death lawsuits. They claimed the company should have known the warehouse’s …

Oakland Fire Captain Recommended Building Be Shut Down in January

An Oakland fire captain recommended in January that a building that burned this week, killing four people, should be shut down immediately for safety reasons, but department officials opted to take less drastic measures, records released Friday show. In an …

The Similarities Between 2 Deadly Oakland Fires Are Striking

The similarities between two deadly Oakland, Calif. fires that occurred nearly four months apart are striking: Each involved a dangerously dilapidated building with an absentee landlord and renters desperate for affordable housing in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area. The …

California Lawmakers Grapple with Fatal Oakland Warehouse Fire

California state lawmakers said they are grappling with a growing public safety problem in cities where financially struggling artists are illegally converting warehouses into housing and entertainment venues. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting this week in Sacramento was …

Officials Visited California Warehouse Before Deadly Fire, Records Show

Police officers responded to complaints of a raucous “rave” at a California warehouse illegally used as an entertainment venue and residence two years before a late-night fire at the venue killed 36 partygoers, documents released by the city showed. The …

Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Once Again in Front of California Voters

For the second time in six years, California voters will consider legalizing recreational use of marijuana. This time, supporters of the move have much more financial backing and professional campaign help than they did in 2010. And polls show Proposition …

Students Sue University of California Over Sex Assault Claims

Three current and former University of California, Berkeley students sued the school on Monday, accusing administrators of not doing enough to investigate their sexual assault claims and hand out punishment. The three women said the administrators mishandled their claims, failed …

Uber Latest Legal Woe is California Lawsuit

California prosecutors sued Uber over the ride-booking company’s driver background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup’s legal woes in the U.S. and around the world. The lawsuits filed Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court are the latest …

California Top Court to Decide on Retailer Defibrillator Issue

Are large California retailers required to have a device on hand to treat customers who fall victim to sudden cardiac arrest? The California Supreme Court is taking up that question during oral arguments. At issue is a Southern California family’s …

Silicon Valley Billionaire Buys Record $201M Life Policy

An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire has purchased the world’s most valuable life insurance policy, worth $201 million. The man who cobbled the deal together said that it took seven months and 19 insurance companies to put together a deal that …