Southern California Edison has reached agreements in principle to settle the claims asserted by 23 public entities (cities, counties and special districts) impacted by the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein fires, the 2018 Montecito debris flows and the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
Under the settlements, payments totaling $360 million will be made to the 23 public entities for damages alleged to have been caused by the fires and debris flows, with $150 million allocated to the 2017 fire and 2018 debris flow events and the remaining $210 million allocated to the 2018 Woolsey Fire. The agreements are a compromise reached by SCE and the public entities to resolve the public entities’ claims, and no admission of wrongdoing or liability was made in reaching these agreements.
These settlements apply to damages claimed by the public entities only and do not affect the claims of individuals or businesses impacted by the fires and debris flows or impact the existing cross-claims that SCE and its parent maintain against four of the public entities in connection with the debris flows. SCE will continue to work with stakeholders to resolve the issues related to the 2017 and 2018 events.
“We are pleased to reach agreements to resolve the claims brought by local government entities related to the 2017 and 2018 events,” said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of SCE. “We look forward to engaging with other parties who have a similar interest in good faith settlement efforts. We also will continue to make substantial investments in our system and enhance our operational practices to reduce the risk of wildfires in our service area and safely provide power to homes and businesses.”
The parties engaged JAMS Mediator Judge Jay Gandhi (ret.) to preside over the negotiations, which resulted in the settlements in principle.