PG&E settles California fire claims with local governments for $1 billion

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – PG&E Corp pays $1 billion as a part of its chapter reorganization to greater than a dozen local governments in California struck by wildfires lately, the corporate and attorneys for the governments stated on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: PG&E crew work on energy strains to restore injury brought on by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

Payments to the local governments will settle claims from lawsuits placed on maintain by PG&E’s chapter and are separate from the hundreds of particular person claims stemming from wildfires that the corporate expects will likely be filed in opposition to it throughout the chapter interval.

PG&E will be unable to make settlement funds till it receives court docket approval for a Chapter 11 chapter reorganization plan.

San Francisco-headquartered PG&E filed for Chapter 11 safety in January anticipating $30 billion in liabilities from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 blamed on its gear.

The local governments stated in a submitting in March that their claims might high greater than $2.5 billion for fire-related injury to roads, bridges, sidewalks, highway indicators and alerts, public landscaping and water programs.

The governments embrace the town of Paradise, which was leveled by November’s Camp Fire in California deadliest and most damaging wildfire of recent occasions.

Paradise settled for $270 million, John Fiske, a lawyer for the governments from Baron & Budd, informed Reuters.

A Paradise park district and Butte and Yuba Counties additionally settled claims stemming from the Camp Fire, for a mixed $312 million.

The metropolis of Santa Rosa and Sonoma and Napa Counties, which have been arduous hit by blazes in 2017, are among the many localities that settled.

Other governments that settled 2017 fire claims embrace the cities of Sonoma and Napa in addition to Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Yuba Counties and a few particular districts.

The governments that settled the 2017 fire claims will obtain a complete of $415 million. How the cash will likely be allotted has not been determined but, Fiske stated.

A water district in Calaveras County settled claims arising from a 2015 fire. It will obtain $three million.

“This is an important first step toward an orderly, fair and expeditious resolution of wildfire claims and a demonstration of our willingness to work collaboratively with stakeholders to achieve mutually acceptable resolutions,” PG&E stated in a press release supplied to Reuters.

“We hope to continue making progress with other stakeholders,” PG&E added.

Reporting by Jim Christie; enhancing by Grant McCool and G Crosse

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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