Edison must pay insurers $1.16B for Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslides

Thomas Fire - Money burning

The power company announced the settlement of the lawsuit with insurance companies.

Southern California Edison has announced that it has reached a settlement with insurance companies that sued it over the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide disasters.

The utility will pay $1.16 billion to insurers over the disasters in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Edison announced this settlement in a news release in which it explained that the agreement was not an admission of any wrongdoing or liability.

“We are making significant progress toward resolving wildfire-related litigation,” stated president and CEO Pedro J. Pizarro of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison.

Upon the signing of the settlement, all claims from the insurance companies have been resolved with respect to the pending 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein fires, as well as the Montecito Mudslide of 2018 litigation, confirmed Pizarro.

The insurance settlement closes all the outstanding lawsuits over the Thomas Fire and Montecito mudslide.

The utility was facing lawsuits from more than 100 plaintiffs, including insurance companies, as well as financial institutions. Business owners, homeowners, cities and counties had also sued Edison over the natural disasters. Their lawsuits accused the utility of negligence which led to the catastrophic fires and resulting mudslides, explained the insurers’ co-lead counsel, Craig Simon, Berger Khan managing partner in Irvine, California.

“This was a global settlement where all insurance holders resolved with Edison at one time. The parties were able to reach an amiable solution to the satisfaction of both parties,” said Simon.

In Edison’s announcement of the settlement, it included an estimate of about $6.2 million in losses as a result of the litigation it faced from the Thomas Fire, the Montecito mudslides, as well as the Woolsey Fire from 2018.

The Woolsey Fire lawsuits are not included in the Thomas Fire settlement. Those also accuse Edison of negligence that caused that deadly and disastrous wildfire. In that case, Edison agreed that its equipment was likely linked with the start of the 2018 fire that Thomas Fire - Money burningstarted on November 8 and torched its way across almost 97,000 acres, killed three people, and destroyed over 1,000 structures.

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