PG&E gets court OK for $235 million in bonuses amid wildfire woes, bankruptcy

George Avalos, The Mercury News on

Published in Business News

PG&E bankruptcy attorney Stephen Karotkin maintained before the court, prior to the ruling, that the employees badly need the bonuses, and the company must offer the incentive packages, in order to retain workers.

"The critical thing is to bring stability to the workforce," Karotkin said.

But Robert Julian, an attorney for the official committee of tort claimants, which include wildfire victims and victims of the lethal Ghost Ship fire, pressed Lowe during cross-examination about whether the bonus plan included safety goals that were as challenging as they could be.

Julian pointed out during the cross examination that PG&E had agreed through its wildfire mitigation plan, as well as in a court proceeding related to its probation in the San Bruno explosion conviction, that it would ensure vegetation was cleared away from electrical towers, lines and equipment to a 12-foot extent. However, the bonus plan only requires a four-foot clearance.

"Our contention is that PG&E has adopted a STIP measure that is a layup," Julian, the attorney, told the court.


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