Pacific Gas & Electric has been fined $4 million for the deaths of 84 people killed in a Northern California wildfire. The utility admitted the blaze started because of its long-neglected electrical grid.
The sentencing comes as the nation’s largest utility prepares to end a bankruptcy proceeding triggered by the catastrophe. The maximum penalty was a mere formality because PG&E had already worked it out in a plea agreement.
The deal resolves charges stemming from a November 2018 wildfire that wiped out the town of Paradise, California. The judge said if a person and not a company had committed similar crimes they would have received 90 years in prison.