PGE Extends Deadline for California Wildfire Compensation Amid Criticism

October 31, 2019
Forest Fire Fighters
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

After losing everything in the California wildfires last year, some victims were left in the dark about compensation from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Some had never heard about the program, while others thought they needed legal representation or that the company did not have any more money left to give. The company agreed to extend the window for victims of last year’s wildfires to file claims for compensation to accommodate those who have yet to file. 

The tens of thousands of California residents harmed by last year's devastating wildfires are getting more time to file for compensation from the utility company blamed for the blazes. After drawing criticism for the many fire victims who had not filed claims by last week's deadline, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has agreed to a two-month extension.

Lawyers for the utility on Monday said PG&E had received approximately 70,000 claims and processed 45,000, with another 20,000 to 25,000 claims waiting to be processed. "I think we ought to be able to do 90% or more," U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a court hearing on Monday. "I think that should be realistic in a case like this."

At a hearing last week, lawyers for victims said that less than half of those eligible had filed claims, prompting criticism that PG&E has done too little to reach out to victims.

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