Don’t be Fooled: PG&E $11 Billion Settlement Over the Butte County Camp Fire Not What It Seems
To untangle the mess, this article will go over what’s going on, when things happened, and we will also do our best to explain why they happened.
Starting off, let’s talk about the claim amounts.
- Victims claim PG & E owes $54 billion.
- PG & E claims that it could only owe $30 billion.
- The September 9th Plan offers $17.9 billion.
- To date, they have negotiated $12 billion in settlements, with $11 billion going to insurance companies and $1 billion going to government entities.
- They’re trying to settle the rest, with the victims, for $8.4 billion.
Next, there are 3 major “groups” involved with the PG & E lawsuit.
- You have the insurance companies who have paid out to the victims.
- You have individual parties with individual claims against PG & E.
- You have a wildfire group that has teamed up with hedge funds in order to stage a hostile takeover of PG & E.
Now we’ll talk about the events and how the developed.
September 9: The chaos started with PG & E unveiling their plans for a company reorganization that would pay out $17.9 billion – slightly over half of the initial amount of claims. $8.4 billion would be for wildfire victims, $8.5 billion for insurance companies, and $1 billion for local government entities.
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see why both insurance companies and individual plaintiffs were upset – the compensation was just too little compared to the damages.
September 13th: PG & E announces an $11 billion settlement with insurance groups. This settlement is the second , with the first one being $1 billion to government entities, and is for an insurance group that represents around 85% of the claims for the both the Butte County Camp Fire of 2018 and the Northern California fires of 2017.
While some are happy, others aren’t. In a statement from the Ad Hoc Subrogation Group, they’re expecting this initial settlement to “pave the way for a plan of reorganization that allows PG & E to fairly compensate all victims and emerge from the Chapter 11 by the June 2020 legislative deadline”.
With the individual victims, all parties were outraged. According to California law, the victims are to be compensated first, and attorneys feel that PG & E is instead putting insurance companies ahead of the victims. with the settlement and the plan.
Attorneys are now furiously battling in the bankruptcy courts as the deal will require sign off from US Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali.
These series of events then leads us to third major development, the hostile takeover of PG & E. For those who aren’t familiar, a hostile takeover is when “Company A” goes directly to the shareholders of “Company B” in order to buy enough shares to take over “Company B”. What makes it hostile is that “Company B” does not want this to happen.
In this case, the various wildfire victims that felt shorted, joined forces with Wall-street hedge funds in an attempt to takeover PG & E and plan out a more fair settlement that would include $24 billion to a trust responsible for paying off the wildfire liabilities. The payout would be a mix of both cash and PG & E stock.
The stakes are higher than ever as victims of the wildfires are running out of time to get their claims in. If you or someone you know were a victim to the Butte County Camp Fires or the Nor Cal wildfires, please contact our award winning attorneys immediately for a free consultation at 833-200-7111. Once again, time is running out and there are only days left. Do not hesitate.