Supreme Court decides against PG&E in restitution case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that it would not hear arguments from PG&E seeking to bar The City and the state from seeking restitution from the energy giant for allegedly transferring ratepayer monies illegally.

The high court’s decision clears the way for The City and state to seek an estimated $4.6 billion from PG&E in state court, in accordance with the decision by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in January. That court ruled that the restitution case was appropriate. The U.S. Supreme Court was asked to consider the same matter considered by the 9th Circuit.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera contends that during the energy crisis of 2000-2001, PG&E Corp. illegally transferred ratepayer monies from the utility to the parent company.

“The evidence is clear that in the months before PG&E declared bankruptcy, it reorganized subsidiaries and moved cash in an elaborate corporate shell game to send ratepayers’ dollars into shareholders’ pockets,” Herrera said in a prepared statement. “This is a major victory for ratepayers.”

More than four years ago, Herrera filed a civil action lawsuit against the energy giant. The lawsuit led to a series of legal maneuvers over several years, which culminated in the U.S Supreme Court’s ruling. The highest court’s decision exhausts all of PG&E’s federal appeals.

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