PG&E wildfire estimation hearings underway to determine how to pay victims

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- PG&E is moving closer to determining how it will pay wildfire victims. The utility company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January.

PG&E has been linked to a series of deadly California Wildfires, including the Camp Fire which destroyed thousands of homes and buildings along with hundreds of businesses.

RELATED: PG&E caps wildfire payments at $16.9 billion for individual victims, insurance carriers

Now PG&E is in US District Court for estimation hearings to determine the value of the cases by wildfire claimants.

Attorney Mary Alexander represents some of the wildfire victims.

"Some people are still living in tents from the camp fire, people who have lost loved ones will be compensated and the judge really seems to want to move this fast," said Alexander.

RELATED: PG&E launches website to warn about preemptive shutoffs

A federal judge has suggested experts come in and that middle ground might be to take an average wrongful death claim in California or average property damage claim and then multiply it by the total number of people who have a claim against PG&E.

"They're trying to estimate the value of those cases so that the people can get paid through the bankruptcy an amount of money that's set aside for those victims," said Alexander.

Meantime, San Francisco has offered 2.5 billion to buy PG&E wires in the city.

"We are just focused on taking advantage of this opportunity to really provide clean power and to provide public power through our resources here in San Francisco," said Mayor London Breed.

RELATED: San Francisco to offer $2.5B for PG&E's power grid, provide its own service to residents

The Mayor says the city's goal is to continue to hold PGE accountable but also work with PG&E deliver the best quality service to customers.

Attorney Mary Alexander also represents Ghost Ship Fire victims' families who are suing PGE amongst others. She says those cases are also on hold. The next estimation hearing is scheduled for October 7th.
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