Bankruptcy judge approves $24.5 billion in PG&E settlement for fire victims, insurance companies

Northern California utility Pacific Gas & Electric said it won't award $130 million in employee bonuses because of its recent bankruptcy filing. 

A federal bankruptcy judge in San Francisco on Tuesday approved two settlements totaling $24.5 billion between PG&E and victims of North Bay wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that were caused by failures in PG&E electrical equipment. 

The settlements approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali include $13.5 billion for fire victims and $11 billion for insurance companies that have already paid claims.

Montali announced his decision at the end of a day-long hearing, saying, "There are tens of thousands of people who just want to go about their lives."

Lawyers said during the hearing that there are 70,000 claims pending against the utility.