The tens of thousands of California residents harmed by last year’s devastating wildfires are getting more time to file for compensation from the utility company blamed for the blazes. After drawing criticism for the many fire victims who had not filed claims by last week’s deadline, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has agreed to a two-month extension.
Lawyers for the utility said PG&E had received approximately 70,000 claims and processed 45,000, with another 20,000 to 25,000 claims waiting to be processed. “I think we ought to be able to do 90% or more,” U.S. District Judge James Donato said in a court hearing. “I think that should be realistic in a case like this.”
PG&E attorney Tim Cameron told U.S. District Judge James Donato the deadline will be extended to Dec. 31 to increase participation and said the company is looking into setting up a claims center close to Paradise, Calif., which was virtually wiped off the map by a fast-moving wildfire that killed 85 people nearly a year ago.
The new date must still be approved by a judge overseeing the bankruptcy case.
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