Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been sued in a California state court by 50 businesses and individuals in connection with the 2019 Kincade fire, Kallanish Energy reports.
It was the largest wildfire in California’s Sonoma County, covering about 78,000 acres last fall.
A total of 21 businesses and 30 individuals filed the suit, although an additional 20 claimants are expected.
The suit was filed last week in Sonoma County.
The utility, which just emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization on July 1, has said previously that its liabilities from the Kincade fire might total $600 million or more.
The Kincade fire broke out on Oct. 23 along high-voltage power lines north of San Francisco, California.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Cal Fire, and PG&E has not publicly said what role its equipment might have played.
Four people were injured and 374 buildings were destroyed. About 200,000 people were forced to evacuate.
In recent years, the utility company has been linked to California wildfires that killed more than 100 people and caused $50 billion in damages.
PG&E’s $58 billion Chapter 11 plan includes $25.5 billion to fund wildfire claims and $22 billion to pay pre-bankruptcy debts and payments for other costs.
Much of that funding would come from new financing and new debt.
That $25.5 billion fire fund includes $13.5 billion going to 80,000 people who lost family, homes, and businesses in the fires that were triggered by PG&E equipment in 2017 and 2018. That plan was overwhelmingly approved in a vote by 250,000 parties before the May 15 deadline.
Some critics have questioned the $13.5 billion trust to pay fire victims may be diminished because a planned $6.75 billion in PG&E stock that would make up half of the trust may have reduced value.
The company has pleaded guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter in connection with 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County, California, that killed 84 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
PG&E is still turning off power to hundreds of thousands of customers when storms sweep off the Pacific Ocean across northern California to avoid more fires.
It is facing growing pressure to do more to fight wildfires that are caused by winds creating sparks along the utility’s grid system.
Under California law, the company is held liable for its operations, even if it is not negligent.
The company has nearly 16 million electricity and natural gas customers in northern California.
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