Baron & Budd’s $1 Billion Public Entity Deal Confirmed Along With PG&E’s Bankruptcy Plan That Compensates California Wildfire Victims

June 19, 2020  |  Environmental, Wildfire
School Bus Destroyed In Camp Fire

PG&E will pay $1 billion to Baron & Budd’s 18 public entities devastated by the 2015 Butte Fire, 2017 North Bay Fires, and 2018 Camp Fire.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Yesterday, Judge Montali of the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of California confirmed PG&E’s Bankruptcy Plan, which included a $1 billion cash settlement for Baron & Budd’s 18 public entities.

The national law firm of Baron & Budd represented 18 public entities in the case against PG&E for taxpayer losses caused by the 2015 Butte Fire, 2017 North Bay Fires, and 2018 Camp Fire. Several days of in-person mediation sessions were held in San Francisco, California with lawyers and representatives from the 18 public entities with various claims arising from the wildfires. Through the mediation, JAMS Mediator Judge (Ret.) Jay Gandhi made mediator’s proposals that included a total payment of $1 billion to be made pursuant to PG&E’s confirmed plan of reorganization. PG&E and all 18 public entities accepted the proposals. The confirmed plan also provides for a $13.5 billion wildfire victims trust for families, businesses, and private property owners.

“We are pleased with the ruling from the bankruptcy court, which provides financial relief to the communities affected by the recent PG&E-caused wildfires,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, Scott Summy. “Communities were destroyed by these fires and while the circumstances remain a tragedy, today marks a significant moment for all wildfire victims.” 

According to the confirmation memo issued by the bankruptcy court, the court said the issue came down to one critical question, to confirm the plan or not. The court documents stated the plan was confirmed because it found that leaving the wildfire victims and countless others with no options was not an acceptable alternative.

“The successful conclusion of this complex legal and legislative fight will help these local governments and communities stay resilient amidst devastating losses,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder, John Fiske. “We hope our work in the courts and in the Capitol will support these communities as they continue to rebuild, especially as new fire seasons approach.”

Scott Summy and John Fiske are lead counsel for all 18 public entities and served as lead counsel for over 30 California public entities affected by utility-caused wildfires, including those started by Southern California Edison. The public entities were also represented by Dixon Diab & Chambers, a firm specializing in wildfire litigation. Baron & Budd and Dixon Diab & Chambers have resolved over $1.395 billion in wildfire settlements for public entities since December 2018.

ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.

Baron & Budd, P.C. is among the largest and most accomplished plaintiffs’ law firms in the country. With more than 40 years of experience, Baron & Budd has the expertise and resources to handle complex litigation throughout the United States. As a law firm that takes pride in remaining at the forefront of litigation, Baron & Budd has spearheaded many significant cases for hundreds of entities and thousands of individuals. Since the firm was founded in 1977, Baron & Budd has achieved substantial national acclaim for its work on cutting-edge litigation, trying hundreds of cases to verdict and settling tens of thousands of cases in areas of litigation as diverse and significant as dangerous and highly addictive pharmaceuticals, defective medical devices, asbestos and mesothelioma, California wildfires and environmental contamination, fraudulent banking practices, e-cigarettes, motor vehicles, federal whistleblower cases, and other consumer fraud issues.

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