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Warren Buffett's PacifiCorp energy reaches $178 million wildfire settlement

PacifiCorp, an utility owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, said on Monday it accepted pay $178 million to deal with claims by 403 plaintiffs developing from two Oregon wildfires in 2020.

PacifiCorp now settled almost 1,500 claims arising from the Labor Day weekend fires with people and organizations in Oregon and northern California.

The latest settlements cover victims of the Beachie Creek and Echo Mountain Complex fires in northwestern Oregon.

PacifiCorp stated the huge majority of plaintiffs pulled out of class-action lawsuits where other plaintiffs are looking for at least $30 billion.

The Portland, Oregon utility views that amount as excessive, however prepares to continue settling all affordable claims.

It has accepted pay more than $900 million to wildfire victims, and through March 31 had $2.4 billion of projected losses. Victims blame PacifiCorp for stopping working to close down power lines throughout a windstorm.

Ryan Flynn, president of PacifiCorp's Pacific Power unit, stated he hoped the latest settlements will supply some closure to plaintiffs.

George McCoy, a lawyer at Warren Allen representing the settling plaintiffs, said the accord offers meaningful. payment and lets victims reconstruct and recuperate from these. terrible occasions.

PacifiCorp is an unit of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which is. 92% owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the Omaha, Nebraska-based. conglomerate run by Buffett considering that 1965.

Buffett said in his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders. on Feb. 24 that he made an expensive error in not preparing for. the financial threats from wildfires.

Greg Abel, Buffett's expected successor as president,. stated at Berkshire's annual meeting on May 4 that PacifiCorp will. continue challenging unfounded wildfire litigation, and that. legal and regulatory reform to assist utilities was required.