PG&E Corp., one of the largest utility providers in the country, has settled numerous lawsuits related to wildfires allegedly caused by its faulty equipment. The lawsuits arose around so-called “jumper cables,” which have been found to have a high likelihood of breaking or malfunctioning, which have resulted in at least 22 wildfires between 2017 and 2018. A federal judge has approved a settlement for these wildfire suits, resulting in a payout of $13.5 billion to victims, in the form of both cash and PG&E stock.
The settlement comes on the heels of PG&E declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it has faced enormous criticism for alleged negligence when it came to the maintenance of its equipment. There have been dozens of deaths and billions of dollars in damages related to wildfires allegedly sparked by PG&E equipment, and victims have been seeking justice for their losses. Things have been further aggravated by PG&E deliberately using blackouts in high wind conditions to avoid further wildfires, denying service to millions of Californians as a result of their inability to safely manage their own infrastructure.
California Governor Gavin Newsom accused PG&E of placing profit over the safety and welfare of its customers, although he viewed the wildfire settlement as fair. This is despite a competing plan offered by bondholders that would’ve struck a provision requiring lawyers for the victims to support PG&E’s exit from bankruptcy, scheduled in June. Additionally, there was a further $11 billion settlement with insurers who had claims against PG&E due to wildfire-related property damage.
If you or someone you love has been sickened or injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have legal remedies available to you. The lawyers at Levine and Slavit, PLLC assist clients in collecting the damages they need to cope with the harm caused by others’ tortious acts. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our New York personal injury lawyers, call (888) LAW-8088 or fill out our contact form.