PG&E Officials Agree on $117 Million Settlement With California Wildfire Victims

by Samantha Whidden
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(Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Days after it was announced that federal officials have launched an investigation into the cause of the Mosquito Fire, PG&E Corp. has agreed on a $117 million settlement with past California wildfires’ victims.

According to Reuters, PG&E Corp executives and directors that were accused in a lawsuit of lax oversight of the company’s safety measures before California’s 2017 North Bay and 2018 Camp wildfires are now paying the price. The settlement was announced by the PG&E Fire Victims Trust. This organization compensates victims of wildfires that the parent of Pacific Gas & Electric started between 2015 and 2018.  

Frank Pitre, a lawyer for the trust, says that the settlement was among the largest of its type. The funds will be used to pay for the “vast majority” of claims held by federal agencies that helped battle the California wildfires. 

It was revealed that the North Bay Fires, also known as the Wine Country Fires, broke out in October 2017. It took place in Napa, Sonoma, and other nearby counties. The California wildfires caused nearly 50 deaths and burned more than 245,000 acres. 

A little over a year after the North Bay Fires, Upstate California Camp Fire killed 85 people. The wildfire also burned more than 153,000 acres and destroyed most of Paradise California, the home of 26,000 residents. This fire remains the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history. 

PG&E Is Being Sured For Starting California’s Largest Wildfire of 2022 

Meanwhile, PG&E is being sued for starting the Mosquito Fire. This is considered California’s largest wildfire of 2022. It was revealed that the company is cooperating with the investigation of how it was involved in the fire, which destroyed nearly 77,000 acres and 78 structures. 

The California wildfire sparked on September 6th on Mosquito Road and Oxbow Reservoir. This is east of Foresthill. The first was 85% contained as of Monday (September 26th). 

Gerald Singleton, the lawyer that is part of the lawsuit against PG&E, accuses the utility company of putting profit over safety. He also says that the company has caused or has been associated with countless California wildfires. 

“PG&E continues to act negligently and has been responsible for more than 1,500 fires across the states leading to deaths, property destruction, financial burdens, and ruined lives,” Singleton stated. “Because of their poorly maintained utility equipment.”

Meanwhile, PG&E released a statement explaining the company remains focused on reducing California wildfire risks. “PG&E’s most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and the communities we serve. We are grateful for Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service for their work in containing the fire. Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service have not made a determination on the cause of the fire. We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area, and are committed to doing everything we can to keep our customers and communities safe.”

Outsider.com