PG&E Reaches $1 Billion Settlement Following California Wildfires


By: Jenny Jin
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. recently reached a $1 billion settlement with 14 California local government agencies for the significant losses stemming from the 2015, 2017, and 2018 Northern California wildfires. The civil settlement was reached in a mediation based on allegations that PG&E’s equipment was the cause of the fires.
The 14 government agencies sought damages for destroyed municipal property, damage to infrastructure, and the overtime paid to all of the emergency personnel in response to the fires. The most recent 2018 fire destroyed Paradise, CA and killed 85 people. Paradise is expected to receive $270 million of the settlement, the largest of the 14 government agencies.
In January 2019, PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was facing more than $30 billion in potential liability, following the fires. At the time of its bankruptcy filing, PG&E was facing about 700 complaints, including at least five putative class actions for damages related to the fires. This $1 billion settlement payment will be incorporated into PG&E’s reorganization plan when it is filed.
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