PG&E Is Dubious Of Fire Victim’s Claim For A 500-Pound Emerald

 Tuesday, November 19, 2019


PG&E Corp. says it has found suspicious monetary claims by victims of California’s wildfires, including one from a man who says a 500-pound (227-kilogram) emerald worth $280 million was destroyed at his home a year ago in the most destructive and deadliest wildfire in state history.

The utility is probing duplicate or “exceptionally large monetary claims, which appear suspicious,” according to a court filing that is part of efforts to determine PG&E’s potential liability from fire-related losses and estimate damages.

U.S. District Judge James Donato will probably take up the issue Monday at a regularly scheduled hearing.

PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy in the face of liability over the wildfires, wants to question the owner of the emerald, who says it was destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire that killed 86 people and razed the town of Paradise.

PG&E’s equipment was found to have contributed to the blaze. In addition to seeking reimbursement for the emerald, the man and his wife submitted four duplicate claims of $4.5 million, PG&E says.
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