October 7, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 13 days ago

U.S. Supreme Court rejects dispute over 2007 California wildfire payouts

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a bid by Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co to recover $379 million from customers related to damages it was forced to pay out in litigation after the deadly 2007 California wildfires that burned hundreds of homes.

After state courts turned away the utility’s challenge to a decision by California regulators to prohibit it from raising utility rates to compensate for the payouts because it had improperly maintained its equipment, the Supreme Court opted not to hear San Diego Gas & Electric’s appeal. The utility had accused state regulators of violating the U.S. Constitution’s bar on the government taking property without compensation.

The court’s action came on the first day of its new term.

Reporting by Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham

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