PG&E Says a “Constant State of Perfect Compliance” is Not Possible

In connection with PG&E’s probation for the deadly San Bruno explosion in 2010, more terms were added to the company’s probation after PG&E was blamed for lethal Northern California wildfires. PG&E pushed back on the new terms and asked that they be modified.

In response to the condition that PG&E provide better management of vegetation near powerlines, The Mercury News reported:

…the utility “understands that it has a fundamental obligation to comply with applicable state laws and regulations, including in particular the vegetation management requirements.” But the utility said a “constant state of perfect compliance” would involve “extensive clear-cutting” that is “not legally, financially or practically possible.”

Another condition of PG&E’s probation was a prohibition from paying dividends to shareholders until it complied with the management of vegetation. In the court filing, PG&E responded, “…in the ordinary course of business, PG&E must raise significant amounts of capital to finance improvements and investments needed to provide safe and reliable service…If PG&E were prohibited from paying a dividend its ability to raise equity capital would be substantially constrained.”

Nor Cal Fire Lawyer, Mike Danko, told The Mercury News that PG&E’s discussion over dividends was “circular logic” that “proves once again that PG&E’s only concern is return to shareholders.”

About Northern California Fire Lawyers

Northern California Fire Lawyers is a team of more than 30 attorneys from a coalition of three Northern California law firms: Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle, Danko Meredith and Gibbs Law Group.  Collectively, our fire lawyers have more experience investigating and bringing claims against PG&E than any law firm in California.  Our attorneys have been appointed by California judges to leadership positions in some of the largest fire and disaster cases, including the Butte Fire Cases, 2017 and 2018 PG&E Fire Cases, and San Bruno Explosion lawsuits.

We have earned hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients, and members of our team have been honored for their work with numerous awards, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” and “Top Women Lawyers in Northern California,” among others.