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A Year After PG&E Left Bankruptcy, Spending by Fire Victim Trust Remains a Mystery

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

It’s been a year since Pacific Gas and Electric Company left Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That exit deal included a promised $13.5 billion settlement to pay victims of wildfires that were caused by the company’s equipment.The deal represented the culmination of a promise to fire survivors, PG&E interim CEO Bill Smith declared on July 1, 2020. “Today's announcement is significant for PG&E and for the many wildfire victims who are now one step closer to getting paid,” he said. “Compensating these victims fairly and quickly has been our primary goal throughout these proceedings, and I am glad to say that today we funded the Fire Victim Trust for their benefit.” But a year later, public records show that a special Fire Victim Trust created to distribute the settlement has been slow to pay out victims — and quick to wrack up big bills for lawyers and consultants.

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