SAN FRANCISCO — After months of negotiations, PG&E reached a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire survivors who had losses from the 2017 Northern California wildfires and the Camp Fire.
PG&E released a statement saying the settlement would resolve all claims, which includes those from the 2015 Butte Fire and the 2016 Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland.
The settlement was announced the same week that the California Public Utilities Commission's Safety Enforcement Division's report found PG&E violated the state's public utility code by failing to maintain, replace or reinforce the hook that failed on the transmission line that fires officials say started the Camp Fire. That hook deteriorated well past the allowable limit.
The Tubbs Fire, which started on Oct. 8, 2017, killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,600 structures in Sonoma and Napa counties. This is the fire that devoured entire neighborhoods in Santa Rosa.
PG&E said in a press release the settlement is a step forward for the company to rise out of bankruptcy. The investor-owned utility company's deadline to get out of bankruptcy is June 30, 2020.
“From the beginning of the Chapter 11 process, getting wildfire victims fairly compensated, especially the individuals, has been our primary goal," CEO and President of PG&E Corporation Bill Johnson said in press release. "We want to help our customers, our neighbors and our friends in those impacted areas recover and rebuild after these tragic wildfires.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened PG&E with a possible takeover in Nov. if the utility company could not emerge from bankruptcy ahead of next year's fire season.
Newsom's threats came after PG&E shut off power to nearly 1 million customers in the months of Oct. and Nov.