Law360 (April 9, 2020, 5:04 PM EDT) — Pacific Gas & Electric is drumming up support for its reorganization plan, trumpeting Thursday an endorsement from consumer advocate Erin Brockovich, who led a legal battle against the utility over contaminated California drinking water in the mid-1990s and said wildfire victims’ “best way forward” is confirming the plan.
“Since PG&E settled with victims, the company has won broad support for its plan of reorganization, including from the governor. Now all that’s standing between victims and the payment they’ve waited so long for is approval of the plan,” said Brockovich, who works as an environmental consultant at Weitz & Luxenberg PC.
“The settlement PG&E reached with victims in December is the best option for getting victims paid fairly and quickly. The best way forward for victims is to support confirmation of PG&E’s plan,” Brockovich said in a statement released by PG&E.
But Brockovich’s endorsement of the bankrupt utility’s reorganization plan comes after the utility lost the support of the official committee of tort claimants, which represents the interests of fire victims in PG&E’s bankruptcy cases. The committee told the court on Monday that they had reached an impasse with PG&E in mediation and could no longer support the plan.
The nation’s largest utility filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2019, buckling under an estimated $30 billion in potential liabilities tied to its supposed role in causing wildfires that killed 130 people and destroyed billions of dollars in property in 2017 and 2018.