Was your business destroyed as a result of the California wild fires? If it was, you know how destructive those fires are. The damage left by the wildfires is massive, and you may still be trying to deal with the consequences to your business. It may be a good idea for you to file a lawsuit against companies that failed to take the right steps to prevent starting fires.
One company that is in talks to settle is PG&E. The company, Pacific Gas & Electric, is accused of using equipment that has caused more wildfires than other utility companies. In December, they reached a settlement with victims for $13.5 billion, but some victims want that settlement altered.
They worry that they won’t be given enough money, because half of the amount is to be paid in shares in the company. The company’s stock price is currently low. They also said that the leading attorney on the case might have had a conflict of interest, since he’d borrowed money from a lender who had claims against the company, owned company stock or had helped finance the company’s bankruptcy. It’s not known if there is a true conflict of interest, however.
Out of around 70,000 victims, two-thirds must agree with the deal by May 15 for it to be approved. If they don’t agree, then the company’s bankruptcy may not be resolved. This would also take away the company’s ability to access a $20 billion wildfire fund that would support paying back victims’ claims.
Victims who are against this settlement have said that they’d like the $13.5 billion to be guaranteed in cash or to receive a guarantee that the stocks will not be worth less than $6.75 billion. They’d also like a formal timeline for payments, since the current agreement would allow the company to use its discretion when paying back victims.