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PG&E Pleads Guilty to 84 Felony Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter in Devastating Camp Fire, But Critics Scoff at $3.5 Million Fine

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/17/pge-pleads-guilty-84-felony-counts-involuntary-manslaughter-devastating-camp-fire


Sounds like the perfect test case, prosecutors, charge this company with murder and seek the death penalty, take it to the highest court if you have to. Lets find out one way or another if corporations should truly be treated as a person. When they are executed or sentenced to life in prison, I will concede that they are.


$3.5 Million is less than one days earnings by PG&E.

Is this the price of 84 humans lives?

One days earnings.


If my math is right that’s four thousands of a percent of its assets. What more it there to say. Corporations are person’s so capital punishment is appropriate for mass manslaughter. In other words nationalize it as a state owned utility fire the executive suite; and charge them individually in criminal court.


Here is where we know without a doubt that the notion, let alone the codification, of a corporation being a person (Citizens United) is utterly and completely fraudulent: If in fact PG&E is a person, it should be punished for causing each of the 84 deaths to which it has plead guilty, as if it were actually a person, and not just an entity extant on paper.


Perfect candidate for the corporate death penalty.


Indeed. Too bad said penalty doesn’t exist.


I’ll believe corporations are people when I see Texas execute one.


So what is the exact number of people killed by a corporation that is required before a corporation will lose its charter? Btw, the decisions of PG&E that resulted in the death of these 84 people were made by human beings. I understand that a major purpose of a corporation is to insulate its owners (share holders) from liability, but the people who made these decisions were officers and employees. Is this just another case of looking forward and not backward? Too bad George Floyd didn’t get that same treatment. Does this mean that any human being can form a corporation (or LLC or partnership) for the purpose of committing an illegal act and blame the corporate entity? “Who me? I didn’t do it. That corporation did.”


Blame the prosecutor and judge too. It would be interesting to see how they benefit from their gutless, corrupt handling of this case. Stock options? Foreign bank accounts? Some other nefarious means of compensating these crooked, despicable people who let corporate crime go on and on.

You know if this keeps up, letting corporate criminals off, we, the People, are going to have to administer our own justice as a deterrent to other CEOs and all manner of corporate executives. Remember the line from the old song Tom Dooley? “Hanging from a wide oak tree”? Hang one or two of them in front of their own homes? Might work


Exactly so PonyBoy! This is a slap on the damn wrist of the corporate person! The lives of the victims can never be made whole or loved-ones replaced, but the attempt must be made to do all that can be done to return some measure of justice!

This is a “fine” of $3.5 Million that is a drop in the goddamn bucket - what are the clean-up costs? What are the costs to rebuild all the homes and infrastructure as they were? How much for all the costs for housing and everything from the fire until all is restored as best it can be - and that doesn’t include the lives lost and families destroyed! Superior Court Judge Michael Deems is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land if he thinks this is a just decision.

This is from a January Bay Area report titled: Feds to Bill Fire Victims If PG&E Doesn’t Pay $4B: Report

"Federal officials are prepared to bill wildfire victims for a portion of the nearly $4 billion the government says it’s owed by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., if the debt isn’t resolved as part of the utility’s bankruptcy case, according to a newspaper report Sunday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked for reimbursement from PG&E to cover costs from the government’s response to destructive fires in 2015, 2017 and 2018. Under PG&E’s current plan to resolve its bankruptcy, any payment to FEMA would have to come from the $13.5 billion the utility intends to reserve primarily to settle claims from wildfire victims, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Victims’ lawyers are fighting FEMA’s claim, which would take up nearly 30% of the settlement. But FEMA told the Chronicle it is compelled to seek compensation from PG&E. Otherwise, individual victims would be responsible if they get settlement funds that duplicate money already paid by the federal government, according to Bob Fenton, the agency’s regional administrator"

So victims get fucked at least twice and must fight PG&E and the trump regime!


PG and E has also indicated that if it has to pay all those fines and to keep the lines maintained so as to prevent this happening again they would have to recoup their losses by quintupling their rates.

That said regarding the Billions in damages against the firm , they are considering declaring chapter 11 so as to avoid paying those fines.

That is the “free market” in action.


If only we could execute the executives who enabled this to occur, perhaps then the laws regarding corporations as people would no longer exist.


A slap on the bejeweled wrist of a serial killer


That going to hurt, Might have to move the Executive Christmas party from Maui this year.


As the 99% are blindly led down the neoliberal path people die and for that privilege are charged heavy rates for their electricity. After years of propaganda and lobbying in 1996 the utilities in CA were deregulated so that the “free market” could provide rate payers with cheaper utilities. HAH!! The situation that is documented in “The Smartest Guys in the Room” was predicted. The purposeful, criminal lack of maintenance that led to the San Bruno and Paradise tragedies I would not have predicted. Humans do not do that to other humans. But humans behind the corporate shield do do that to other humans especially when those inhuman humans profit greatly from their inhumanity.
Privately held utilities should be outlawed. We have had both for over 100 years and the publicly held utilities have always provided more reliable and cheaper services. Always!!!


PG&E should be distributed to local municipalities and counties so that micro grids can be established to make electricity and gas cheaper and safer. The laws to implement that already exist and have existed for over 100 years. Because of privately funded campaigns, politicians have never mustered the gumption to do that. Gray Davis should have done that in 1999. Instead CA was blessed with Arnold Schwarzengroper, a forrunner of the current serial sex abuser who is to rich to be corrupted.


We had those same Publicly owned Utilities here in Canada and we still have BY Hydro here in British Columbia and you are 100 percent correct. They are more reliable.

Added to that because BC Hydro a “Crown owned utility” the BC Government lowered utility rates for consumers affected by the COVID crisis to help them get through the financial crisis due to all that job loss.


Wow, enough to buy a (1) house in California.


MINIMUM 84 counts of negligent homicide plus a million apiece to the heirs and assigns AND to the state, paid by Johnson out of his personal funds with NO compensation of any kind from the firm. If it bankrupts the firm, declare it public property and o0perate it as such, another step toward a cooperative commonwealth.