Jury to decide PG&E role in wine country fire

Posted at 8:00 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 23:00:32-04

A state jury will get to decide whether Pacific Gas and Electric equipment ignited a deadly wildfire in California wine country nearly two years ago.

State fire investigators previously determined that the fire, which killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes in the Santa Rosa area, was caused by a private electrical system.

Victims of the 2017 fire disagreed and demanded a jury trial.

Meanwhile, PG&E argued that a judge overseeing its bankruptcy case should determine whether it should be held liable for the fire and owes those victims money.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali ruled Friday the state court was a suitable venue for resolving the matter.

If a jury decides the company is responsible for the fire, PG&E could face a far more costly exit from bankruptcy.