Will Ratepayers Or Shareholders Pay For California Fires?

Law360, New York (January 10, 2018, 12:09 PM EST) -- The recent Northern California wildfires destroyed more than 5,000 homes. Homeowners have filed suit, contending that PG&E Corporation is responsible for sparking the fires. Damages are likely to exceed $10 billion — well in excess of PG&E’s available insurance.

If the victims prevail, who will foot the bill: PG&E’s ratepayers or its shareholders? If PG&E’s management gets its way, it will be the ratepayers. If the plaintiffs’ lawyers succeed, it is likely to be the shareholders.

PG&E’s power lines have a long history of starting wildfires....
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