PG&E reaches deal to resolve claims over years of wildfires

PG&E reaches deal to resolve claims over years of wildfires

PG&E reaches new $13.5 billion deal for California wildfires

Californian utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has agreed a $13.5bn (£10.2bn) settlement with victims of wildfires in the state.

State fire investigators in May determined that PG&E transmission lines caused the deadliest and most destructive wildfire on record in California, the wind-driven Camp Fire that killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise past year. "We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires", PG&E President Bill Johnson said in the statement.

PG&E had previously reached a $1 billion settlement with cities, counties and other public entities and an $11 billion agreement with insurance carriers related to 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California. A United States federal bankruptcy court will have the final say.

The 2018 Camp Fire which killed 85 people in and around the town of Paradise.

If the settlement is approved, PG&E will likely emerge from bankruptcy ahead of a June deadline to gain entry into California's "go-forward wildfire fund", the company said.

PG&E's leadership team has heard those calls for change and we realise we need to do even more to be a different company now and in the future.

An aging tower where a worn hook broke and helped ignite the fire had not been subjected to a climbing inspection since at least 2001, the report said.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January after survivors affected by the fires hit them with more than $30 billion in claims.

PG&E has faced a litany of legal problems in recent decades, including 737 counts of criminal negligence over failing to trim trees near power lines following a big fire in 1994.

"Without question, the loss of life, homes and businesses is heartbreaking". The wildfires have been tied to the company's equipment.

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