Los Angeles County has filed a lawsuit against Southern California Edison and Edison International over the wildfire damages that California suffered. The County filed a lawsuit against the companies to recover $100+ million that the county spent relating to a wildfire that was caused by the company’s utility wires.
The fire resulted in 1,643 buildings being damaged and an additional 360 structures. The fire burned more than 150 square miles killing three people in the process.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Edison told the Public Utilities Commission that an outage prior to the fire may have caused the fire due to contact between a jumper and guy wire. The lawsuit is requesting that Southern California Edison pay for costs relating to emergency response, fire suppression efforts, loss of tax revenue and damage to infrastructure and resources. Thousands of county employees tried to stop the fire, which was eventually stopped on the Malibu coast by the ocean.
Fire protection districts and flood control have also joined the lawsuit against the company and its parent company Edison International.
Several lawsuits relating to the fire have been filed. Property owners and renters, over 100 in total, filed a similar lawsuit against the company due to the structural damages sustained. The family of a 73-year-old man has also filed a lawsuit citing wrongful death and negligence on part of the utility company.
The utility company failed to shut down transmission lines that would have prevented the sparks that caused the fire.
Southern California Edison claims that they will have to take a $1.8 billion charge relating to the fires.
Pacific Gas & Electric, which faces billions of dollars in potential liability relating to additional California wildfires, was forced to file for bankruptcy in January. The company determined that due to the 2018 Camp Fire, which was likely caused by the company’s equipment, they would have to take a $10.5 billion pre-tax charge.