In wake of PG&E’s long list of financial and judicial woes, the presiding judge of the utility company’s mounting bankruptcy case has, as of yesterday, allowed a state-court-appointed jury to decide if the electrical company’s equipment was the cause of the 2017 Tubbs Fire.
Leveling over 5,000 homes and causing 22 deaths, the Tubbs Fire was one of the state’s deadliest wildfires in history, prior to last year's Camp Fire. State investigators initially believed it was sparked by wiring in a private electrical system — but victims of the fire disagree, asking for a trial by a jury to determine the final verdict.
Should the company be found guilty by the jury for causing the Tubbs Fire, PG&E would be dealing with an even more costly exit strategy, per the court.
“PG&E has made significant progress in further refining a viable, fair, and comprehensive plan of reorganization that will compensate wildfire victims, protect customer rates, and put PG&E on a path to be the energy company our customers need and deserve,” the company said in a public statement, per KRON4.
Just last month, new surveillance video surfaced that called in question whether it was not-to-code wiring on private property or, in fact, an arc flash from a PG&E pole that caused the deadly blaze.
The San Francisco-based utility filed for bankruptcy in January after it said it could not afford an estimated $30 billion in liabilities from recent California wildfires, including the Camp Fire that all but eradicated the town of Paradise, claiming 86 lives as a result. Their antiquated improperly maintained equipment was pinpointed by law enforcement and experts on the matter as causes for those blazes.
PG&E plans to submit a strategy on September 9th, at the latest, for paying off its debt and reorganizing funds, in wake of the $30 billion wildfire-related damages and liabilities they’re already responsible for; this does not include the Tubbs Fire as of yet, should they be found guilty for igniting the blaze.
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