PG&E agrees to $11 billion in compensation for California wildfires


US-held shares of beleaguered US utility PG&E were buoyed by the news of the utility’s $11 billion settlement with the US Bankruptcy Court.

The settlement approved the court for California’s Northern District has according to PG&E, been agreed to in principle, and will cover 85% of insurance claims related to the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, and 2018 Camp Fire, that left towns like Paradise in ashes, and claimed over 100 lives.

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In a statement by the insurance group representing claimants in the case, it noted that while the proposed settlement “does not fully satisfy” its members’ claims, “we hope that this compromise will pave the way for a plan of reorganisation that allows PG&E to fairly compensate all victims.”

The news comes just days after the utility singing its first cheque for resident support, as part of a $105 million Wildfire Assistance Programme, and three months after PG&E announced a $1 billion settlement with 18 cities, counties and public agencies affected by the fires.

The utility hopes to pave a wave clear to recovery from Chapter 11 ahead of a June 2020 deadline and submitted an outline of its reorganisation plan with the bankruptcy court along with its proposed $17.9 million in wildfire claims-related compensation. PG&E must submit a more detailed plan by 29 September, and exit bankruptcy ahead of the June deadline, to access California’s new wildfire fund, created to help address costs related to wildfires.

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