SCE Reaches Billion Dollar Plus Settlement Over Thomas Fire, Montecito Debris Flow
Southern California Edison officials say they’ve reached a billion dollar plus settlement to settle many of the insurance company related claims stemming from the massive Thomas brush fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, as well as the deadly Montecito debris flow.
The company didn’t make any admissions of wrongdoing or liability. The settlement also includes damages from the Koenigstein brush fire, a blaze which eventually merged with the Thomas Fire.
Company officials say they are still working to reach settlements in individual lawsuits related to the two fires and the debris flow. They say they are also making progress in settling claims involved with the 2018 Woolsey brush fires.
Fire investigators say high wind created issues with SCE equipment which started the blazes. The Thomas Fire stripped hillsides above Montecito, and set the stage for the January, 2018 debris flow. State insurance officials said insurance companies would need to cover claims as a part of fire insurance, because the fire led to the water, rock and mudflow.
SCE officials say they expect their total payout for the 2017 and 2018 disasters to be around $6.2 billion dollars.