Wildfire victims angry over payout delays

More than 80,000 wildfire victims have filed claims to be part of a $13.5 billion settlement between the victims and the utility blamed for causing the fires. A heated hearing could boil over, observers said.

By

National News

February 26, 2020 - 10:03 AM

PG&E could lose its license to operate in California if the embattled company fails to run a safe utility and take detailed actions in the wake of a catastrophic wildfire or explosion, regulator Marybel Batjer, president of the powerful state Public Utilities Commission, has proposed. Photo by (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A $13.5 billion settlement between victims of California’s catastrophic wildfires and the utility blamed for causing them was supposed to bring some peace and hope to people still reeling from the devastation.

Instead, the deal has sparked confusion, resentment, suspicion and despair as the victims, government agencies, and lawyers grapple for their piece of the pie.

More than 81,000 have filed claims to the settlement fund, setting the stage for a potential scrum as Pacific Gas & Electric scrambles to emerge from one of the most complex bankruptcy cases in U.S. history by June 30.

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