NewsLocal News

Actions

Judge rebuffs PG&E's bid to upend longstanding law

Posted at 11:24 PM, Nov 27, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A U.S. bankruptcy court judge has rejected Pacific Gas & Electric's latest attempt to change a California law that requires utilities to pay for the devastation from wildfires ignited by their equipment.

The decision issued Wednesday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali preserves a long-standing principle known as "inverse condemnation."

The law helped drive the nation's largest utility into bankruptcy protection 10 months ago as it faced at least $20 billion in losses stemming from a series of deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

The ruling is a victory for thousands of people who lost their homes and loved ones in the fires.

Insurers that have already paid roughly $16 billion to their policyholders also counted on the law to help them recoup part of their losses.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)