PG&E Urges Judge To Approve Insurance Settlement, Faces Resistance

 Thursday, December 5, 2019


Pacific Gas & Electric on Wednesday urged a federal bankruptcy judge to approve a key insurance settlement as it struggles to regain its financial footing and cover at least $20 billion in losses stemming from catastrophic wildfires in California tied to its equipment.

The nation’s largest utility faced fierce resistance at the court hearing from attorneys representing thousands of wildfire victims, PG&E bondholders who have proposed an alternative plan for salvaging the hobbled company, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The opposition argued that PG&E’s $11 billion settlement with a group representing about 110 insurers that have already paid claims in the fires threatens to shortchange uninsured and underinsured victims.

Critics also say the deal would give the company an unfair advantage to gain support for its deeply flawed reorganization plan.

Nancy Mitchell, an attorney, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali that PG&E’s current rehabilitation plan doesn’t meet the standards required to participate in a wildfire fund approved by California lawmakers last summer.