How would PG&E bankruptcy impact California fire victims?

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Don't let the apparent boom in post firestorm construction fool you. Even with the reconstructions of destroyed homes, fire victims still face plenty of questions -- especially with PG&E's looming declaration of bankruptcy.

MORE: Here's how PG&E filing for bankruptcy will affect customers, employees, shareholders

"For the last year we have been living with uncertainty, so it is nothing new," said Brad Sherwood, who is rebuilding the family home in Larkfield Estates. His uncertainty began with the Tubbs Fire. It continues while waiting for Cal Fire to point a final finger for the blame, possibly against PG&E.

"It has been well over a year. We want to see the report."

Attorney Noreen Evans works for a firm representing victims in Sonoma and Butte counties. Her plaintiffs lit up the phone Monday. "What I am telling them is it is not the end of the lawsuit. It may be removed into bankruptcy court."

The list of people and agencies filing suit against PG&E includes Sonoma County itself.

RELATED: PG&E bankruptcy in 2019 may have parallels to its 2001 bankruptcy

Supervisor James Gore served as the board's chair when making that decision. "The people most affected by the fires should be the top priority going forward. As a publicly held company, there was an accusation that you socialize the coats and privatize the profits. That is something that would have to be dealt with."

Would a bankruptcy filing reduce the amounts of settlements?

Not necessarily.

RELATED: California bill passes PG&E fire liability on to customers

"PG&E is a corporation with more than $70 billion in assets," said Evans. "It has a guaranteed income stream of $1 billion a year. PG&E has the assets and means to pay its victims."

Evans speculates that PG&E is really looking for a way to restructure its debts. "By saying they might go bankrupt, they're trying to discourage people from suing."

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