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PG&E's $13.5B deal with fire victims removes huge obstacles

This is the third major settlement set during the company's bankruptcy.

Posted: Dec 6, 2019 8:09 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2019 5:10 PM

UPDATE 5:08 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9 - PG&E will be able to avoid two legal obstacles that could have tripped up its efforts to bounce back from bankruptcy.

That's if California Gov. Gavin Newsom and a judge approve a $13.5 billion settlement with victims of catastrophic fires blamed on the utility's equipment.

The company announced the deal last week and disclosed Monday that it will be able to bypass a January trial in state court about its liability for a deadly 2017 fire and avoid a federal court hearing that was supposed to estimate its total bill.

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CALIFORNIA - PG&E said they do not admit fault in relation to the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Sonoma County or 2016 Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland but the claims made by victims of the fire will be resolved as part of their new major settlement.

In a press release issued by the company, the settlement agreed upon is about $13.5 billion and is subject to confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court.

This is the third major settlement set during the company's bankruptcy and will cover all claims made by those involved in the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, 2015 Butte Fire in Jackson and Camp Fire, as well as the two mentioned above.

RELATED: PG&E pays $1 billion to California counties for wildfire damages

"The settlement is subject to a number of conditions and is to be implemented pursuant to PG&E’s Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, which is subject to confirmation by the Bankruptcy Court in accordance with the provisions of the Bankruptcy Code," said PG&E,

The company said approval of the settlement would put them on track to get out of bankruptcy by the June 2020 deadline to participate in the state's go-forward wildfire fund.

“From the beginning of the Chapter 11 process, getting wildfire victims fairly compensated, especially the individuals, has been our primary goal. We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires,” said CEO and President of PG&E Corporation Bill Johnson.

RELATED: PG&E reaches $11 billion deal with California wildfire insurers

With claims working to be resolved and the total amount of wildfire liabilities determined, PG&E says they will now be working to finalize their bankruptcy plan.

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