A new lawsuit was filed this week against Southern California Edison alleging the utility company was partially responsible for causing the Woolsey Fire.
The lawsuit, at least the second, alleges the fire began due to poorly maintained electrical equipment owned and operated by Edison near the start of the fire, according to a news release from three Southern California law firms.
The suit was filed by law firms McNicholas & McNicholas, Frantz Law Group and Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian on behalf of residents in Ventura and Los Angeles counties affected by the Woolsey Fire and submitted Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
More coverage of wildfires and utilities:
A representative from Southern California Edison said in a statement it cannot comment on lawsuits related to the Woolsey Fire at this time.
The blaze burned 96,949 acres and destroyed 1,643 structures after beginning Nov. 8, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The suit is the latest filed against the utility company regarding the cause of the wildfire. On Nov. 14, a Ventura County man filed a lawsuit making similar claims of negligent equipment maintenance causing the fire.
That lawsuit was filed behalf of plaintiff Michael Henthorn. He owned a ranch, home, guest house and barn on his 20-acre property on Mipolomol Road near Yerba Buena Road and the county line. The structures along with his vehicles and pets were all lost when the Woolsey Fire tore through the area.
Investigations into the cause of the wildfire are being conducted by Cal Fire as well as the state’s Office of Emergency Services, but no cause has been established.
However, the lawsuit alleges initial reports from Edison found a disturbance at 2:22 p.m. at the Big Rock circuit at the Chatsworth substation near the origin of the wildfire, which began at 2:24 p.m.
“Had Southern California Edison Company followed the standard of care in inspecting, maintaining and repairing its overhead lines, properly maintaining its electrical equipment, and trimming away vegetation from its wires as is required by law and industry standards, the catastrophic Woolsey Fire could have been avoided,” said Patrick McNicholas, partner at McNicholas & McNicholas, in a statement.
The lawsuit said the electrical equipment was negligently operated, repaired and maintained, as well as paired with poor vegetation management and substandard electrical safety practices, according to the news release.
Read or Share this story: https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2018/11/21/new-lawsuit-claims-energy-utility-responsible-woolsey-fire-southern-california-edison/2083003002/