- PG&E has reached an agreement to pay $US11 billion to settle insurance claims over its role in the California wildfires.
- The utility company’s power lines were blamed for wildfires that ravaged Northern California in 2017 and 2018 and resulted in more than 100 deaths.
- Mounting legal claims over the last two years forced PG&E to filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.
- Shares of PG&E rose as much as 10% on the news.
PG&E has reached another major settlement regarding its role in the deadly California wildfires.
The utility company has agreed to pay $US11 billion to settle insurance claims after its power lines were blamed for starting many of the wildfires that ravaged Northern California in 2017 and 2018. Shares of PG&E rose as much as 10% on the news.
“Today’s settlement is another step in doing what’s right for the communities, businesses, and individuals affected by the devastating wildfires,” Bill Johnson, PG&E’s chief executive officer, said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier this week the company released a major reorganization plan that allocated $US17.9 billion to settle wildfire-related claims. The plan included $US8.4 billion for wildfire victims, $US8.5 billion to reimburse insurers, and $US1 billion for local governments.
The settlement announced on Thursday is with about 85% of the insurance companies seeking payouts from PG&E, and the $US11 billion total exceeds the $US8.4 billion cap the company proposed in its restructuring plan.
The announcement represents a critical milestone for PG&E as mounting legal claims stemming from the wildfires forced the company to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. The new settlement still has to be approved by the bankruptcy court.
PG&E also paid out a $US1 billion settlement in June with 18 towns and local governments regarding fires in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
PG&E’s stock price has fallen more than 54% year-to-date.
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