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A California utility agreed Tuesday to pay $1billion to 14 local governments to cover damages from a series of deadly wildfires caused by its downed power lines.
The settlement is a sliver of the more than $30billion in potential damages Pacific Gas & Electric is facing in lawsuits filed by local governments, insurance companies and private property owners.
Half - Agreement - Governments - Fire - People
More than half of the $1billion in the agreement would go to four governments impacted by a 2018 fire that killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes in Northern California.
A total of $270million would go to Paradise, which was mostly destroyed in the blaze.
Town - Residents - Fire - People - %
The town had 26,000 residents before the fire and now has less than 3,000 people. It has lost more than 90% of its tax revenue.
'There is some relief and hope in knowing that we will have some financial stability,' Paradise Town Manager Lauren Gill said.
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'We can't do disaster recovery and rebuild the town if we don't have people to do it.'
The settlement also covers a 2015 fire in Calaveras County and a series of 2017 fires in wine country.
PG - E - Bankruptcy - January
PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January.
The agreement would resolve claims from some local governments, but it still must be approved by a bankruptcy court.
Lawsuits - Insurance - Companies - Property - Owners
That likely won't happen until lawsuits by insurance companies and private property owners are resolved.
'The bankruptcy court approval is not trivial,' said Mike Danko, part of a group of attorneys who represent about 2,800 wildfire victims in a lawsuit...
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