PG&E shares plunged Monday, following news that a jury can decide whether the company should pay up to $18 billion in damages to wildfire victims.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali on Friday said that a court trial can decide if the gas & electricity company is responsible for the 2017 Tubbs Fire, which destroyed more than 5,600 buildings and took 22 people’s lives. The catastrophic fire became the second most destructive in California’s history.
“Regardless of the next legal steps, Cal Fire has already determined that the cause of the 2017 Tubbs Fire was not related to PG&E equipment,” PG&E said in an emailed statement. “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.”
Attorneys for a group of victims and insurance companies that paid damages have refuted the state's findings in bankruptcy court papers.
In January, PG&E filed for Chapter 11, as it faced upto $30 billion in potential wildfire liabilities.
Last week, PG&E reported a wider second-quarter loss of -$4.83 a share, wider than a year-ago quarter’s loss of -$1.91.