$13.5 billion trust fund to cover wildfire victims’ claims in PG&E settlement

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — PG&E will set up a trust fund with $13.5 billion to cover claims from the Butte Fire, the Camp Fire and 2017 Northern California fires including the Tubbs Fire.  

The fund will also cover claims from the Ghost Ship Warehouse fire.

The funding will come from $5.4 billion in cash contributed when the plan takes effect, $650 million in cash on January 15, 2021 and $700 million in cash on January 15, 2022.

The final portion will be $6.75 billion in common stock from the reorganized PG&E.

The question is will this be enough money to cover all the wildfire claims

“As far as whether it’s going to be enough — impossible to say because claims made have not been analysed or quantified but have no reason to believe not that it is not enough,” said Mike Danko, attorney for wildfire victims. 

Danko represents thousands of wildfire victims.  

He says part of the reason for that is that all of those entitled to file claims have yet to do so and the deadline is approaching dec. 31.

“We believe there are 100,000 people who have legitimate claims against PG&E, and who are entitled to file, so far we have seen about 70,000 of those claims,” Danko said.

Regardless of how many claims there ends up being, Danko hopes a procedure will be set up to offer settlements within months of the plan being approved, not years.

“We do have people still living in tents on burnt out lots or in RV and trailers,” he said. “We need to get money to them if that’s what they want.”

In addition to a federal bankruptcy judge, California Governor Gavin Newsom must also sign off on his plan. 

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