70,000 California wildfire victims may miss out on payments

SAN FRANCISCO — As many as 100,000 Californians are eligible to receive payments for the damages they suffered from a series of devastating wildfires over the last several years. But tens of thousands of them have not sought compensation.

They face a deadline Monday to file claims against Pacific Gas & Electric, the utility blamed for many of the fires. The company has set aside billions to pay for wildfire-related losses as part of its bankruptcy plan.

Attorneys for wildfire victims are worried that as many as 70,000 people may miss out on those payments and are asking a bankruptcy judge to extend the deadline. They say many wildfire survivors aren’t filing claims because they are still traumatized and struggling to get back on their feet.

Many aren’t aware that PG&E set aside $8.4 billion to pay for a wide range of claims, including lost wages, lost business and emotional distress.

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