California Governor Rejects $13.5 Billion PG&E Settlement

New York Times and Los Angeles Times

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has rejected a $13.5 billion settlement that Pacific Gas & Electric struck just last week with thousands of people who lost homes, businesses and family members in a series of devastating fires that drove the nation’s largest utility into bankruptcy.

The decision announced Friday in a five-page letter to PG&E CEO William D. Johnson marks a major setback in the utility’s race to meet a June 30 deadline to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Richard Bridgford of Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian, one of the attorneys representing thousands of fire victims said he hopes PG&E can still pull together a revised proposal that will satisfy the governor before that deadline. 

“I’m hopeful that adjustments can be made so that all the parties can move forward to obtain compensation for the victims who have suffered so much over two years,” he said.

Although he praised the proposed settlement just last week, Bridgford said he understands Newsom’s concerns.