PG&E expects $1B loss following Dixie Fire lawsuit

Business

(KTXL) — Pacific Gas and Electric Company officials said they expect to lose more than $1 billion as a result of the Dixie Fire.

The utility has announced that it’s been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney for documents related to the largest non-complex fire in California history.

PG&E was first sued back in September by homeowners in the five counties devastated by the blaze.

PG&E has said the nearly 1 million acres burned may have been ignited by a tree that fell onto its cables. The company has been heavily criticized after lawyers claimed a troubleman spotted flames near where that tree was leaning into a conductor by Cresta Dam, with calls only going out to 911 and Cal Fire hours later.

The homeowners’ attorney spoke with FOX40 right after the lawsuit was filed.

“You have a situation where you know there’s a problem, you don’t know what it looks like on the ground and you know it’s going to take you a long time to get there because the terrain is so difficult. In addition, as the troubleman acknowledged, this is a very high-risk area. I think Judge Allsop said … it was the 11th most dangerous line that PG&E had, something along those lines,” said attorney Gerald Singleton.

“So when you have a situation where you’ve got a problem that you know about, you can’t get there for a period of time and you know it’s a high-risk area, why they didn’t shut the power off really is beyond me,” he continued. “I think it’s going to be shown that they were negligent and as a result, our clients will be able to recover their damages.”

PG&E also posted a more than $1 billion loss for its third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30.

A PG&E spokesperson refused to comment on camera about the subpoena Monday, but they did send FOX40 the following written statement:

We are working every day to make it safe and make it right, both by resolving claims stemming from past fires and through our work to make our system safer tomorrow than it is today. Our hearts continue to be with everyone who was affected by the Dixie Fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and we are cooperating with CAL FIRE. As we’ve shared previously, we believe our actions around the time of the Dixie Fire’s ignition show that we are a reasonable operator of our electric system.

We remain focused on reducing wildfire risk across our service area, and are committed to keeping our customers and communities safe.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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