California wildfires

California wildfires result in $11 billion settlement

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) crews repair power lines that were destroyed by the Camp Fire
PG&E crews repair power lines that were destroyed by the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California utility company PG&E announced Friday it has reached an $11 billion settlement with a group of insurers for its role in deadly 2018 wildfires.

Why it matters: PG&E faired well considering insurers were initially seeking $20 billion to pay for the cost of claims, says the Financial Times. The current settlement will cover 85% of claims.

PG&E strikes $1 billion settlement with California local governments

California utility PG&E will pay $1 billion to a group of 14 public entities — including city and county governments — that brought claims against the company for its involvement in deadly wildfires dating back to 2015; it remains unclear when the group will actually be paid, or if they'll be paid at all, since PG&E is in the middle of messy bankruptcy proceedings.

Why it matters: It's the first settlement in what could be a series of payouts to others seeking to recoup losses from wildfires PG&E's power lines have been deemed responsible for sparking. This settlement is a relatively small dollar amount compared to the company's own estimation that it could be on the hook for $30 billion in liability costs. Residents and insurers (unaffected by this settlement) are among the other groups still looking to be paid by PG&E.