Get the facts about PG&E’s Proposed Settlement and what it means for California fire Survivors 

Settlement Overview  

PG&E has proposed a $13.5 billion settlement with wildfire victims across the state. The proposed settlement will help families, communities, and business impacted by these wildfires continue to recover and rebuild. As part of the settlement process, anyone with a claim against PG&E will have a chance to vote on this proposal.  

Watch our recent Telephone Town Hall with fire survivors:

Here are some quick facts showing why approving this settlement is essential to give wildfire victims the resources they deserve.

Rejecting this settlement now won’t lead to a better deal later

There is no other settlement offer from PG&E on the table now and a better offer is not going to appear. Here’s why:

A review of PG&E’s finances clearly indicates that the company simply cannot afford to pay out anything more than the negotiated $13.5 billion amount and still be a viable, operating utility.

Attorneys for wildfire victims have extracted just about every last penny that is available to pay victims. Any other view is not supported by the financial facts.


Rejecting This Settlement Now Will Mean No Payments to Victims for Years

Rejecting the PG&E restructuring plan now will eliminate the company’s ability to exit bankruptcy by June 30, 2020, which means PG&E can’t participate in the state-backed $21 billion wildfire liability fund.

This fund was set up to help utilities like PG&E offset the costs of future fires it might cause. Without access to this fund, it is unlikely that there will be another settlement offer anywhere near $13.5 billion. This also means PG&E could decide to go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy process to liquidate all of its assets – delaying a payment, if any, for years.

No Wildfire Victim or Survivor Will Be Forced to Take PG&E Stock As Part of a Settlement

Opponents to the settlement are putting out false information on this point. PG&E has agreed to pay wildfire claimants a total of $13.5 billion. One half of this will be paid in cash, while the other half will be paid out in the form of stock of the new PG&E when it exits bankruptcy.

The cash and stock will be placed into a trust account around August 2020. These funds will be managed by some of the smartest and largest money management institutions to ensure that these assets are protected while we are working through the claims process and while the funds are being distributed.

Once the stock is placed in the trust, it can be sold at proper intervals in order to have the cash to make settlement payments to claimants. NO CLAIMANT WILL BE FORCED TO TAKE STOCK IN THE NEW PG&E.  

Insurance Companies Settled With PG&E and Won’t Come After Wildfire Victims Settlements

Under the legal doctrine known as SUBROGATION, insurance companies have always been entitled to get paid the full amount of what they paid out to wildfire victims IF a third party was found responsible for starting the fires.

In this case, PG&E started the fires and so insurance companies are allowed to collect any money their insured gets from PG&E.

Instead of going to each fire victim seeking to recover their money, the insurance companies decided to settle all of these claims with PG&E directly.

They made this deal in September of 2019 for a total of $11 billion. That figure represents about 55% of the $20 billion the insurance companies are expected to pay out to all wildfire insurance claims which is a deep discount. 

What Fire Survivors are Saying

We need your help to spread the truth about PG&E’s $13.5 Billion Settlement. See why other survivors say it’s critical to vote to accept this proposal. 

“It’s our chance to rebuild our homes a lot faster and help our community do the same.”

“We’re here just trying to build our lives back up again and the no vote would delay it.”

“By voting no we increase the risk of obtaining a much lesser settlement, if any at  all.”

“There’s no way we’ll be able to survive if we have to wait”

“It’s been two and a half years, we just want to move on”

“I don’t think we’re going to get a better deal than this.”

“If this doesn’t happen, it could be another three or four years – if ever.”

“It was a no-brainer for us to vote yes.”

Settlement News

Paradise Post: PG&E: Fine money isn’t coming from victims

Paradise Post: PG&E: Fine money isn’t coming from victims

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company said on Monday that nearly $4 million in fines and expenses connected to a plea agreement with the Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey last week will not impact victim claims. The company is set to plead guilty on April 24...

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AP: PG&E reaches bankruptcy deal with Gov. Newsom

AP: PG&E reaches bankruptcy deal with Gov. Newsom

Pacific Gas & Electric and California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal Friday that removes the last hurdle for the nation's largest utility to emerge from bankruptcy triggered by massive liabilities from wildfires. PG&E agreed to overhaul its board and...

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WSJ: PG&E Strikes Deal With Bondholders

WSJ: PG&E Strikes Deal With Bondholders

PG&E Corp. said Wednesday it has reached a new deal with bondholders that threatened opposition to its strategy for getting out of bankruptcy, but friction continues with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has threatened a state takeover of the troubled utility....

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Your Questions Answered

Will clients be forced to take stock in PG&E?

Are there secret provisions in the settlement?

Could there be a better settlement option?

Will every survivor receive the same amount?

Why are some lawyers advising clients to vote against this?

What are the financial risks of fighting for a better settlement

How are attorneys’ fees going to be calculated?
How will emotional distress claims be paid?

What are the expected expenses individual clients will pay?

What are the mechanics for the claims and payment process?
How will personal property claims be paid?
Why have members of the TCC resigned?
Do the fire victims’ lawyers support the settlement?
Why isn’t there just one claim per structure lost?
Who pays attorney fees and expenses?
How will the trust weed out false claims?
Will the financial information about the trust be transparent?
How will the bad economy affect the deal?
Will any of PG&E’s fines be paid by the victims’ trust?
Is a one-third contingency fee reasonable and customary?
Will the CPUC fine come out of the $13.5 billion?
What did the Tubbs Fire attorneys do to earn their fee?
What did the Camp Fire attorneys do to earn their fee?
30,000 structures burned, why are there 80,000 claims?

Who are the Funds involved?

What have you been doing to improve the settlement since it was signed?
Can I sue PG&E if the trust doesn’t pay me all of my damages?
What happens if PG&E doesn’t make the initial cash payment?
Why are Trotter & Yani getting paid so much to administer the trust?
Will financial specialists determine the best time to sell the stock?
When will the stock be liquidated by the trust?
Does Erin Brockovich still support the deal?
Is mediation still going on?
Can you comment on the April 22nd Facebook Live meeting?
Can you address the resignation of PG&E’s CEO?
What work is being done to prepare third party lawsuits?
What happened with Will Abrams’ motion?
What’s the risk that fire survivors will have to pay the CPUC’s fine?
What has the CPUC said about this plan being AB1054 compliant?
What happens if fire victims vote this plan down?
Can you address the date of funding?
How do I get a ballot?
Can you address the status of the vote?
How do I vote before the negotiations are finished?
Can you address the homelessness in Chico?
Are PG&E’s payments guaranteed?
Why not wait to vote?
What will stock be worth?
How will claims process work?
Can you address the timing of sale of stock?
What will happen to the value of PG&E stock?
Watch the First “Fire Survivors Vote” Panel Discussion
Watch the Second “Fire Survivors Vote” Panel Discussion