Lawsuits demanding the PG&E pay for damages from wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some 1,000 lawsuits have been filed demanding Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pay for damages caused by wildfires.

The lawsuits involve thousands of people, companies, cities and counties, and claim the utility’s equipment caused wildfires.

Plaintiffs range from Oroville rancher David Martin’s $3,000 small claims complaint to insurance companies’ demands for billions of dollars in reimbursements for payments to policyholders.

Cities and counties are suing PG&E for destroyed schools, parks and other public property in addition to the cost of responding to the fires.

PG&E lawyers have filed denials of responsibility in the courts, but when the company sought bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, it cited at least $30 billion in potential liability from those and other lawsuits.

PG&E says bankruptcy will help settle the litigation in an orderly and fair manner.

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