Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Firefighters fighting burning blaze

Northern California Wildfire Victims Secure PG&E Agreement to Provide $13.5 Billion in Compensation for Fire Victims

Victims Must File Claims Before December 31, 2019 Court Deadline

San Francisco, CA, December 6, 2019 — The Official Tort Claimants Committee (“TCC”), representing fire victims and other tort claimants in Pacific Gas & Electric’s (“PG&E”) bankruptcy reorganization, announce an agreement with PG&E to provide $13.5 billion in compensation for the fire victims and other tort claimants. This agreement comes after months of the TCC negotiating with PG&E on behalf of fire victims and other claimants.

The $13.5 billion—comprised of cash, equity and other consideration—if approved, would be used to fund a trust dedicated to compensating these tort claimants and help fire victims rebuild their lives. The fire claims that would be channeled to the trust include claims arising from the 2015 Butte Fire, the 2016 Ghost Ship Fire, the 2017 North Bay Wildfires (including the Tubbs Fire), and the 2018 Camp Fire. The $13.5 billion settlement reflects a $5.1 billion increase from PG&E’s prior proposal of $8.4 billion.

“Given the amount of money that will be available to pay victims, it is absolutely critical that all eligible victims file proofs of claim before the December 31, 2019 bar date at the website www.officialfireclaims.com,” said Michael Carlson, member of the TCC and wildfire victim. “We urge every victim from the wildfires to file proofs of claim, so they don’t forfeit their right to compensation.” The extended deadline of December 31, 2019 at 5:00PM PT remains in place so eligible victims that missed the October deadline still have time to file claims and become eligible to receive compensation for their losses.

“The TCC reached this agreement with PG&E, in part, to give fire victims and other tort claimants the best chance at being fully compensated for their harms,” said Kirk Trostle, member of the TCC and fire victim. “Eligible victims who have not yet filed should see this agreement and realize there is in fact money available to help them rebuild their lives.”

To be eligible for compensation from the trust, fire victims and other claimants must file a claim form with the bankruptcy court by December 31, 2019 at 5:00PM PT. This deadline applies to anybody with a claim against PG&E arising before January 29, 2019, including fire victims of the 2015 Butte Fire, 2016 Ghost Ship Fire, the 2017 North Bay Fires (including the Tubbs Fire), and the 2018 Camp Fire. If claimants do not file their claims with the bankruptcy court by December 31, they risk forfeiting their rights.

There is an easy-to-use claim form that can be found at the following URL: www.officialfireclaims.com. The form asks for basic information such as the victim’s name, address, description of loss and harm, and a signature. The form can be submitted and completed online and takes about 10-15 minutes.

About the Tort Claimants Committee

When PG&E filed its bankruptcy case, the TCC was appointed to advocate for and defend the collective interests of all tort claimants in the bankruptcy case, including those who were injured or suffered property or business damages, or lost their loved ones. The TCC’s objectives are to provide maximum compensation for all tort claimants on fair terms, to ensure that the very human nature of these tragedies is kept at the forefront of the bankruptcy proceeding (including the continuing hardships faced by survivors every day), and to fight to make sure PG&E makes public safety its first priority, in the hope that these tragedies will not occur again and PG&E can become a safe steward of California’s electric and gas system.

The TCC serves to monitor PG&E’s bankruptcy proceedings and to provide a channel of information for our constituents to keep them informed of the bankruptcy case. While the TCC serves the collective interests of all tort claimants, the TCC does not represent individual tort claimants. If you were harmed by PG&E or have any questions, you should consult with a lawyer. More information about the TCC can be found on its website: https://dm.epiq11.com/case/PGE2/info.