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PacifiCorp, a utility giant owned by Berkshire Hathaway, reached a settlement agreement on Monday regarding wildfires that ravaged Oregon in 2020. Settlement

PacifiCorp Settles Wildfire Lawsuits for $178 Million

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Image credit: Jason Briscoe

PacifiCorp, a utility giant owned by Berkshire Hathaway, reached a settlement agreement on Monday regarding wildfires that ravaged Oregon in 2020.

  • Settlement Amount: $178 million will be distributed to 403 plaintiffs impacted by the Beachie Creek and Echo Mountain Complex fires.
  • Total Claims Settled: This agreement brings the total number of settled claims from the Labor Day weekend fires to nearly 1,500, encompassing individuals and businesses in Oregon and northern California.
  • Class-Action Opt-Out: The vast majority of plaintiffs chose to settle individually, rather than participate in a larger class-action lawsuit seeking at least $30 billion. PacifiCorp considers this amount to be excessive.
  • PacifiCorp's Stance: The utility maintains its commitment to resolving "all reasonable claims" and has agreed to pay over $900 million to wildfire victims so far. As of March 31, 2024, PacifiCorp faces projected losses of $2.4 billion related to the fires.
  • Cause of Fires: The cause of the wildfires is attributed to PacifiCorp's failure to shut down power lines during a windstorm, according to the plaintiffs.

Key Takeaways:

  • This settlement marks another step in resolving the financial repercussions of the 2020 Oregon wildfires.
  • PacifiCorp continues to face legal challenges and financial burdens associated with the fires.
  • The disagreement over the class-action lawsuit highlights the ongoing debate about the appropriate compensation for wildfire victims.

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