LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Southern California Edison and the holders of Woolsey Fire insurance subrogation claims reached a $2.2 billion settlement of all such claims arising from the 2018 Woolsey Fire, the utility announced today.
SCE also has reached settlements with about 1,000 individual plaintiffs in litigation arising from the 2017-2018 wildfire and mudslide events, including the Woolsey Fire, the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein fires and the 2018 Montecito mudslides.
“We have made another significant step toward resolving pending wildfire-related litigation,'' said Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, parent company of SCE. “This settlement is with all insurance subrogation plaintiffs in the 2018 Woolsey Fire litigation.''
Subrogation is a term describing a right held by most insurance carriers to legally pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured.
The company continues to explore settlement opportunities with other parties, Pizarro said.
Under the settlement, subrogation plaintiffs will receive $2.2 billion within 90 days for claims based on payments they have already made to individual and business policy holders associated with the Woolsey Fire. SCE will pay additional amounts for claims arising from future payments that may be made to policy holders on or prior to July 15, 2023, up to an agreed-upon cap.
The final settlement was reached Friday after a mediation overseen by retired Judge Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman. The agreement also requires SCE to reimburse the subrogation claim holders a percentage for future payments up to an agreed cap.
“This was a group effort by a lot of talented subrogation counsel,'' plaintiffs' counsel Craig Simon said. “I was happy to be selected to a leadership position on the subrogation track for the Woolsey Fire Cases, working alongside other smart and hardworking counsel who worked as a team.''
Simon said he believes the subrogation settlement will lead to a global settlement protocol in Woolsey Fire lawsuits between SCE and individual plaintiffs.
The Woolsey Fire began Nov. 8, 2018, and spanned portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Three people died, nearly 97,000 acres burned and about 1,645 structures were destroyed. More than 295,000 people were evacuated.
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