Deadliest corporate crime in US history ending with 84 guilty pleas

Josh Edelson/AFP

On Tuesday, PG&E Corp. will plead guilty 84 separate times to involuntary manslaughter — the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history.

That admission in a California courtroom will mark the end of one portion of the power company’s legal travails after its equipment sparked the largest wildfire in state history, consuming the town of Paradise. Many who lost loved ones or homes to the 2018 conflagration may not find much comfort in the utility paying a $4 million fine…For the company it amounts to conceding that “the evidence will show beyond a reasonable doubt that we killed 84 people and burned down a town by a criminally reckless fire,”…

PG&E calls the plea agreement “an important step in taking responsibility for the past and working to create a better future for all concerned…We want to do right by the victims and the communities…”

Well, all right, then. Says, no one.

3 thoughts on “Deadliest corporate crime in US history ending with 84 guilty pleas

  1. Update says:

    PG&E emerges from bankruptcy, pays $5.4 billion into wildfire fund
    This marks the second time in 16 years that PG&E has navigated a complex bankruptcy case that has raised questions about how it should operate in the future. The last time the company emerged from bankruptcy, in 2004, electricity rates soared and management focused even more on boosting profits instead of upgrading its power supply.
    Because its restructuring plan was approved by the bankruptcy court last month, the company will be able to take part in a state wildfire fund, half financed by California rate payers, created to cover costs of future catastrophic wildfires. It contributed $5 billion to the fund as part of its emergence, the company said.

  2. Another one says:

    CAL FIRE has determined that last year’s Zogg Fire was caused by a pine tree contacting power lines owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) in Northern California.
    The fire started in Shasta County near the community of Igo September 27, 2020 and burned 56,338 acres, destroyed 204 structures, and caused four civilian fatalities.
    The Zogg Fire investigative report has been forwarded to the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office.
    Sacramento Bee: “The determination [of the cause of the fire] came as no surprise, as investigators zeroed in on PG&E as the fire was being fought. Investigators at the time seized PG&E’s power equipment, and the company disclosed in October that damages from the Zogg Fire could exceed $275 million.
    Those costs would come on top of the $625 million in potential claims from the 2019 Kincade Fire, which investigators say was caused by a faulty PG&E transmission line. Separately, PG&E agreed to pay $13.5 billion to cover uninsured losses from the 2018 Camp Fire and the 2017 wine country fires.
    The horrific fires of 2017 and 2018 drove PG&E into bankruptcy. It emerged from reorganization last summer after pledging to Gov. Gavin Newsom that it was overhauling its operations and leadership to put a greater emphasis on wildfire safety.”

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